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There is mucli inspiration in the career of 
General James B. Weaver, because in Ms 
day, when the world of politics ^^was chang- 
ing and searching out a new orbit", he was 
a pioneer and a prophet. As a pioneer he 
gave expression to the thought and feeling 
of the agricultural West: he was, indeed, 
the exponent of the democracy of the West, 
and ^Hhe key to his position upon public 
policies is to be found in his persistent 
spirit of democracy." 

As a prophet General Weaver ^^ voiced 
ideas and principles in Congress that were 
little regarded at the time. The contrast 
between the reception given his views in 
1879 and the attitude of the two great parties 
in recent years towards social politics is the 
measure of the progress made in the inter- 
vening period. The pioneer of 1879 is now 
seen to have been a far-sighted leader" and 

The ultimate test of prevision is the rec- 
ord of fulfillment. Long before the close of 



the nineteenth century General Weaver 
stood for more democracy ; he stood for pro- 
hibition; he stood against the control of 
government by the interests ; he favored the 
direct election of United States Senators; 
he favored the taxation of incomes; he 
favored the construction of an isthmian 
canal; he advocated monetary reform; he 
proposed the establishment of a department 
of labor ; and he saw clearly that militarism 
was a policy for keeping the people in 

Benj. F. Shambaugh 

OrricE OF THE Superintendent and Editor 

The State Historical Society of Iowa 

Iowa City Iowa 


This study of the life of General James Baird 
Weaver is an outgro\vth of the writer's Third 
Party Movements Since the Civil War. A re- 
view of the successive minor parties from 1872 
to 1912 brought out very clearly the importance 
of General Weaver's leadership. The work of 
Bryan and Roosevelt and their influence upon 
the Democratic and Republican parties is to be 
explained only by an appreciation of the earlier 
labors of General Weaver; and a large part of 
the program of the so-called ^'Progressive 
Movement'' goes back to the pioneer labors of 
the same leader, whose platform was essentially 
one of '^ social and industrial justice", growing 
out of conditions existing in the West from 
1876 to 1896. 

General Weaver's campaigns of 1880 and 
1892 were the real precursors of those of Bryan 
in 1896 and of Roosevelt in 1904. The election 
of President Wilson in 1912 was in many 
respects the culmination of Weaver's efforts. 
He was really the ''first progressive". The 


platform of 1880, the speeches in Congress from 
1879 to 1881 and from 1885 to 1889, the platform 
of 1892, and A Call to Action are the documents 
that form the basis of the Progressive party 
platform of 1912. 

The materials for the life of General 
Weaver are somewhat meager. A large scrap 
book filled with clippings and a large letter file 
form the greater part of the ^^ Weaver Papers" 
preserved by his family. Evidently General 
Weaver gave little thought to the past. By 
nature and temperament an optimist, he looked 
forward to the very end of his life. Fre- 
quently urged to record his reminiscences in his 
later years, he did nothing more than to put 
together some *^ Memoranda" in regard to his 
life down to fb.d outbreak of the Civil War. 
For his services m Congress, the Congressional 
Record furnishes ample material, since he was 
an active participant in debates and from time 
to time made extended speeches in which he 
developed fully his policies and measures. His 
one book, A Call to Action, published during 
the campaign of 1892, contains the nearest ap- 
proach to a systematic presentation of his 
views. A careful examination of this volume 
will impress the reader with the number of 
instances in which General Weaver anticipated 


later programs and policies in our political 

The writer is under special obligations to 
General Weaver's eldest son, James B. Weaver, 
Jr., for the generous way in which he has given 
access to all material in his possession. Like- 
wise the writer is under obligation to the editor 
of the series. Dr. Benj. F. Shambaugh, for his 
careful editing and for his advice and encour- 
agement during the preparation of the book. 
Acknowledgments are also due to Mr. Edgar R. 
Harlan, Curator of the Historical Department 
of Iowa, for assistance in the use of newspapers 
at Des Moines. Dr. Dan E. Clark offered many 
valuable suggestions; while Miss Helen Otto 
assisted in the verification of the manuscript, 
and Miss Euth A. Gallaher compiled the index. 

Fbed E. Haynes 

The State Historical Society of Iowa 
Iowa City Iowa 


I. Early Life and Education, 1833-1856 1 
II. Beginnings in Law and Politics, 

1856-1861 16 

III. Military Record, 1861-1865 .... 26 

IV. Commander of the Post at Pulaski 53 
V. Defending the Home Country ... 59 

VI. A Republican Leader, 1865-1877 . . 66 
VII. First Session in Congress, 1879 . . 101 
VIII. Second Session in Congress, 1879-1880 130 
IX. First Campaign for the Presidency, 

1880 155 

X. Close of the First Term in Con- 
gress, 1880-1881 ....... 179 

XI. Political Activity, 1881-1885 ... 201 
XII. Return to Congress, 1885-1887 . . 218 

XIII. Last Term in Congress, 1887-1889 . 258 

XIV. From Greenbacker to Populist, 

1888-1892 290 

XV. Second Campaign for the Presi- 
dency, 1892 310 



XVI. From Populist to Democrat, 1893- 

1896 344 

XVII. The Later Years, 1896-1912 .... 383 

XVIII. Recognition 407 

XIX. Final Tributes 424 

Notes and References 447 

Index 477 


James Baird Weaver, from an oil 

painting frontispiece 

Lieutenant James Baird Weaver , . opposite 46 

Colonel James Baird Weaver . . . opposite 46 

James Baird Weaver opposite 104 

Mr. and Mrs, James Baird Weaver . opposite 410 

Early Life and Education 

The family of James Baird Weaver was Scotch 
on liis mother's side and German and English 
in the paternal line. His father's ancestors 
emigrated to England many generations ago, 
and thence came to America, settling in the 
State of New York. Some of the family fought 
in the Revolutionary War, while others gained 
distinction in the towns where they lived. ^ 

Henry Weaver, the grandfather, was born on 
April 15, 1761 ; and on May 1, 1790, he married 
Susan Ross Crane, granddaughter of Betsy 
Ross and daughter of a captain in the Revo- 
lutionary Army who lived in Elizabethtown, 
New Jersey. Of this union there were fourteen 
children. It is through Susan Ross Crane, the 
paternal grandmother, that the family traces 
its relationship to Betsy Ross, who made the 
first American flag at the request of George 
Washington.2 Removing from New York to 
Ohio long before the Indians left that region, 
Henry Weaver became a leader in the new west- 
ern community. He fought against the Indians, 
and at one time commanded a fort which stood 

2 . ; . . ,, JAMES, BAIRD WEAVER 

upon what is now Main Street in Cincinnati. 
He served also in the War of 1812, and acted 
as jndge in one of the early courts of Ohio. 

It was in the Ohio home that Abram Weaver, 
father of James Baird Weaver, was born and 
reared.^ He married Snsan Imlay, daughter 
of Captain Joseph Imlay who had served with 
distinction in the Continental Army. James, 
who w^as the fifth child among the thirteen 
children of this union, was born at Dayton, 
Ohio, June 12, 1833. The father was a skilled 
mechanic and millwright as well as a farmer. 
In 1835 the family removed from Dayton to 
Cass County, Michigan, and settled on a farm 
in the forest nine miles north of Cassopolis. 
Here they remained until the summer of 1842, 
when the farm was sold and the family mi- 
grated to the Territory of Iowa. 

From the Weaver Memoranda it appears that 
the family reached Keosauqua in October. 
They ^Svintered in an unfinished frame house 
on the farm of James Purdam, situated oppo- 
site Ely's Ford on the east side of the Des 
Moines river, one mile west of the town."* 
According to the treaty with the Sac and Fox 
Indians '^ white settlers were not permitted 
west of Van Buren county prior to May 1st, 
1843. The boundary between what was then 
called the old Black Hawk and the new pur- 
chase from the Indians was in part the west. 


line of Van Buren, and Davis county lying 
immediately west was in the new purchase . . 
. . But homeseekers under the guise of hunt- 
ers — my father among them — penetrated the 
wilds of the west and northwest and selected 
locations which they intended to and did settle 
upon as soon as they could lawfully reach them 
after the clock struck twelve on the night of 
April 30, 1843. 

''About 3 P. M. May 1st'', reads the Memo- 
randa, Abram Weaver ''with his entire family 
and household goods comfortably packed in a 
wagon drawn by two good horses, with chicken 
coop fastened to the rear of the wagon, cow 
tied behind, trusty rifle and watch dog, halted 
on a quarter section of virgin soil on Chequest 
Creek four miles north of where Bloomfield, the 
county seat of Davis county now stands. The 
place is now known as the William Dodd farm 
near the village of Belknap. The county 
capital, however, was not designated until 
about one year after this settlement was made", 
Abram Weaver "being one of the commis- 
sioners who located the site. On the 12th day 
of June following the writer [James Baird 
Weaver] reached the tenth year of his age.^^ 

The first shelter in the new home, continues 
the Weaver narrative, "was a bark shanty on 
the bank of the creek. The first house was a 
large log dwelling built of green timber cut and 


liewn from trees taken from an extensive 
timber plat on the south part of father's claim. 
The roof was made of clapboards riven by 
father with an old-fashioned adz. The floor 
was made of split logs smoothly hewn and 
brought to a straight edge with the adz — a 
real puncheon floor as it was called, sub- 
stantial and strong. The doors and windows 
were hung on wooden hinges, all made and 
fashioned by father's dexterous hands; so the 
family was comfortably housed and prepared 
for the winter of 1843-1844. 

*^In the meantime ground had been broken 
and a crop of seed corn, potatoes and other 
vegetables had been grown and stored up . . 
. . Mother's loom and father's handicraft 
had been busy preparing for the approaching 
winter, so by early fall all was ready for any 
stress of weather that might come. Deer, 
wolves, wild pigeons, prairie chickens and wild 
turkeys abounded .... Sacs and Foxes 
and Pottawattamie Indian camps near by were 
all very friendly and readily exchanged courte- 
sies with settlers. The Indians visited our 
home more or less every day until the spring of 
1844 when they had mostly disappeared, 
* vamoosing' toward the west. Miles of unculti- 
vated prairie intervened between the cabins of 
the settlers, so that aside from my six brothers 
and sisters Indian boys were my everyday play- 


mates until the first log* school house some two 
miles away was erected the second year after 
locating upon the claim. These brawny ^skin- 
aways', as their parents called them, w^ere 
sturdy little chaps, fleet, expert with bow and 
arrow, could climb like squirrels and skip like 
fauns. ' ' 

School facilities are described as ^' meager'^ 
in those early days when competent teachers 
were very rare. ^'The first teacher in our 
locality was Robert Miller, a man of but little 
education, but a kind, patient and lovable per- 
son who made the old log school house with its 
homely benches, big w^ide fireplace and greased 
paper windows seem like a palace for its 
twenty odd girls and boys gathered daily for 
instruction under its clapboard roof. That 
white oak ridge where the homely school house 
stood is sacred still in my memory. The ele- 
mentary spelling book w^hich I carried to and 
from this, my Alma Mater, was obtained at 
Bloomfield from John A. Lucas, the pioneer 
merchant, in exchange for a coon skin which I 
carried to him. That blessed old school book 
opened first to me the door that leads to the 
republic of letters. If it could possibly now be 
found I would treasure it and hand it down to 
my children. The Friday afternoons we all 
stood and spelled down were great 'days and 
stimulated the youthful ambition to blood heat. 


^'A lonely Indian trail near our cabin led 
close by the school house, and it was no un- 
common thing as we were going and coming to 
see wolves both of the large and small variety 
trot across the trail. This had the effect of 
stimulating our activity and reducing loitering 
to a minimum. Wild dogs were almost as 
numerous in those days as domestic canines are 
now, with this advantage in favor of the 
wolves, that they were self-supporting. The 
fear which they inspired among the children 
rounded us up like young calves and met with 
unanimous approval among the teachers in 
those halcyon days. Neither red haws, ripe 
plums, hickory, hazel nor walnuts could tempt 
the children to loiter by the wayside. Punctu- 
ality was a virtue with us all. The wolf should 
have due credit for his contribution to pioneer 

^'We spent ^ve years on the farm. Mother 
wove on the old loom the jeans and other cloth 
necessary for family wear and then cut and 
made our clothes. Each fall father bought 
sides of upper and sole leather and from these 
made our boots and shoes. The girls ^ shoes 
were made of finer quality of calf skin. All 
stockings and mittens were manufactured at 
home from yarn spun on the large and small 
spinning "wheels .... Before the open 
cheerful fireplace there was merry chatter, 


song, and a thrilling touch of music, father 
leading with his dear old flute. They were 
happy days with the children all at home. 
Everything was natural, and modern conven- 
tionalities wholly unknown. Deep snows were 
a challenge to fun, coon hunting a luxury, 
shooting wild turkeys and prairie chickens and 
netting quail almost a daily occurrence. Every 
necessity of life seemed to be piled right up at 
our door. The south side of our cabin was 
always covered in the winter time with coon 
skins, wolf and deer hides, tacked up to dry. 
They were regarded as legal tender at the store. 
Those were charming days when we were all 
close to Nature's throbbing heart. True, we 
were forty-five miles from grist mill, and fre- 
quently without either meal or flour. But we 
ground ^grits' on our old coffee mill and fared 
sumptuously every day. 

''When the pioneer preacher came around, as 
he frequently did, he was always a jolly fellow 
and after father and mother called the children 
all in we had enough to make a fair sized con- 
gregation, and how those early saddle-bag 
preachers could sing! With good cheer they 
hunted up the remote settlers, through rain and 
sunshine they reminded us of God and duty 
and invited us all to the big meeting which was 
always soon to occur at some pioneer home. All 
formality was discarded at those religious 


gatherings. They sang and prayed with 
unction. Amen and Hallelujah resounded as a 
matter of course. 

'^ After crops were laid by in summer, 
through the fall and winter father worked at 
his trade, built houses, made furniture, cut 
hoop poles, made staves and fashioned them 
into barrels, and busied himself with an almost 
endless variety of handicraft for which he was 
noted throughout the widely scattered neigh- 

^^ Finally he was elected Clerk of the District 
Court for our county and then we moved into 
town. Here our school opportunities were 
somewhat improved as tliey extended over 
longer periods of time, and a higher class of 
teachers were secured. Our home life was 
more varied as w^e met our neighbors with 
greater frequency — a priceless boon in pio- 
neer life. It was a real joy in those days to 
meet our neighbors. Hospitality was at high 
tide, while only a trace of selfishness could 
occasionally be found to mar the generous flow 
of good neighborship. 

^ ' Soon after moving into town father secured 
from the government a contract to carry on 
horseback a bi-weekly mail from Bloomfield to 
Fairfield, and I was detailed for the job. 1 
entered upon the work and served for tliree 
years winter and summer. I was forced to 


leave school and so pursued my studies as best 
I could at nights at home. Finally father threw 
up his contract and then I re-entered the old 
log school house. My experience as mail car- 
rier was interesting and frequently thrilling, 
being compelled often times to swim swollen 
streams, including the Des Moines River and 
Big Cedar Creek, many times every year, and 
to engage in battles royal with neighbor boys 
who gathered along the trail to fret and annoy 
if possible the lad who rode astride the govern- 
ment saddle-bags. But fair play was always 
the motto on both sides and that was the only 
condition required. It was not long until the 
boys were all my friends and some of them still 
live to manifest their generous feeling. Caleb 
BaldAvin, afterward Chief elustice of Iowa, and 
long since passed away, was post-master at 
Fairfield during this period, and at the same 
time pursuing the study of law. I frequently 
rode up to the post-office door and threw the 
mail bag into his hands. He was a young man 
of enormous size, weighing three hundred 
pounds, active and powerful, and completely 
filled the door as he appeared to receive the 
bags. . . . 

'^It is my recollection that I began carrying 
the mail in the early fall of 1847 and quit in 
1851.'"' The Mexican war had occurred while we 
were on the farm and was over before I became 


knight of the saddle-bags, and the old soldiers 
had returned, and some of them were domiciled 
among us. I took up my elementary studies in 
the local school; but news of the discovery of 
gold at Sutter's Mill in California in 1848 
quickly crossed the continent and became 
known to the world. This thrilled and intensely 
excited all classes of people, and all the older 
pioneers, including myself, caught the fever. 
But my parents repressed its rage to the utmost 
of their power, and notwithstanding a brother- 
in-law, Dr. C. W. Phelps, pulled out for the 
Eldorado in the spring of 1849, I was not per- 
mitted to accompany him, but continued to 
carry the mail until the latter part of 1851. 
After quitting the road I attended three terms 
of school. In addition, I had begun to study 
law under occasional instructors in the office of 
Hon. S. G. McAchran, a practicing lawyer at 
Bloomfield, during the summer and winter of 

*^I was now about nineteen years of age, 
strong, and with the rugged experience of the 
pioneer lad felt that I was equal to any emer- 
gency. Meantime my brother-in-law. Dr. 
Phelps, had reached home returning by sea via 
New York with a snug quantity of gold, and 
was preparing for another trip overland with a 
herd of cattle, and would need my help. Fifty 
head of steers were secured, all tamed to the 


yoke, and I engaged to accompany him as an 
all round hand and helper.'' 

Late in March, 1853, the start for California 
was made by a company of four persons: Dr. 
Phelps, young Weaver, and two others referred 
to as ''Mike" and ''Jack". The leader of the 
expedition was Dr. Phelps who had crossed the 
plains in 1849. His experience with horses on 
that trip had determined him to change to oxen 
on this second journey: fifty-two were taken, of 
which eight worked at a time. 

On account of road conditions and swollen 
streams the party did not reach the Missouri 
River until about the middle of April. After 
two days of rest they crossed this river and 
bade adieu to white settlements. To the youth- 
ful traveler the first noticeable feature was the 
vastness of the country as compared with the 
narrow limits of his boyhood home. For a fort- 
night the journey was "commonplace and 
monotonous, relieved only by the occasional 
killing of an antelope for food, or the shooting 
of a wolf." The weather was soft and pleasant 
for many weeks, except for a sudden sandstorm 
which surprised the party one morning about 
ten o'clock and lasted two hours and forty 
minutes. They survived the ordeal without loss 
or injury. 

While near the Green River country in Utah 
they experienced some alarm because of the 


behavior of the Indians, whom they had ex- 
pected would be friendly and peaceable. For- 
tunately, however, nothing haxjpened in this 
region more thrilling than the shooting of a 
huge cougar by Dr. Phelps. This episode 
aroused in the party a desire to hunt big game, 
and so they decided to spend a day or two 
hunting the grizzly and the lion in the Hum- 
boldt Mountains in Nevada near which they 
would pass. One day's experience, during 
w^hich they saw two large cinnamon bears and 
a cougar, satisfied them that a ^^ party consisting 
of but four men, indifferently armed and in- 
experienced .... were risking life in a 
hazardous pastime.'' After crossing the desert 
and the Sierra Nevada Mountains they arrived 
at Sacramento on August 15tli; and here they 
went into camp. 

^^ After resting briefly and satisfying our 
curiosity", wrote Weaver in The World Re- 
view, '^Mike and Jack secured employment and 
the little party was reduced to the Doctor and 
myself. Before leaving home, I had resolved 
to enter the legal profession, and after a brief 
mining adventure, the desire for gold and the 
rough life which makes its finding possible, was 
entirely dissipated, and I was seized with an 
intense desire to return and take up my studies. 
The Doctor .... was anxious to join me 
in the return bv sea in October. The cattle 


were readily disposed of at good figures. We 
then repaired to San Francisco and spent a 
fortnight exploring the city, hunting up old 
friends, and informing ourselves concerning 
the safest and best manned vessel upon which 
we could embark for New York via Panama. 
The ^John L. Stevens', a powerful clipper built 
boat, beautiful to look upon and advertised to 
clear October 2, was selected and tickets se- 
cured. Another ship .... was booked 
to leave the same day and hour, but the 
* Stevens' was preferred because of her speed, 
which resulted from her clipper spread of sails 
supplementing her steam; and for the further 
reason that Captain Pierson had commanded 
her for about five years in the passenger service 
on that coast.'' 

Except for a severe storm at sea and an 
experience with brigands in crossing the 
Isthmus, nothing of moment happened in the 
course of the journey to New York. The 
Doctor and his companion each had ''belted" 
about them ''about twenty-five hundred dollars 
in what were then known as fifty-dollar octagon 
gold slugs." The Panama Railroad was then 
in operation for a distance of only twelve miles 
from the Atlantic.^ 

In the year following his return to Iowa 
young Weaver became clerk for Edward Man- 
ning at Bonaparte, Iowa. His employer, who 


later became one of the richest men in the State, 
took a fancy to him, and when he indicated his 
intention of leaving, Mr. Manning offered him 
increased pay and an interest in the business. 
Weaver, however, declined to accept the offer, 
having decided to earn his living by means 
other than those of manual labor. Ability to 
speak in public and a taste for discussion and 
controversy turned him towards the study of 
law. At the same time the experiences of his 
early life, coupled with a deep respect for his 
father, who was both farmer and mechanic, 
formed an abiding influence in the life of James 
Baird Weaver: it gave to him an interest in 
and sympathy with both farmers and artisans 
that had much to do with the shaping of his 

In the autumn of 1855 Weaver entered the 
Cincinnati Law School from which he gradu- 
ated the following year. His favorite instruc- 
tor was the professor of legal rights, Bellamy 
Storer, for whom later he named his first son 
James Bellamy. The examination preparatory 
to the receipt of his diploma was conducted by 
a committee of five; and the certificate, which 
bears the date of April 14, 1856, was signed 
among others by Eutherford B. Hayes, who 
afterwards became President of the United 
States. While at the law school Weaver's ex- 
penses were not high. One hundred dollars. 


which he borrowed from a friend who charged 
him thirty-three and one-third percent interest, 
met the bulk of his expenditures. Such experi- 
ences as this one may have had an influence in 
forming his opinions in regard to capital and 
the issue of money — opinions which later led 
him to break away from the Republican party 
and become an independent party leader.^ 


Beginnings in Law and Politics 


Immediately after his graduation at Cincinnati 
young Weaver returned to Bloomfield and 
entered into the practice of the law, taking the 
oath as an attorney-at-law before Judge H. B. 
Hendershott. Two years later he was admitted 
to practice in the United States District Court 
of Iowa at Burlington, the oath being adminis- 
tered by James M. Love.'^ Before he had fairly 
established himself in the practice of his chosen 
profession the Civil War broke out; and after 
1878 he either held public office or was engaged 
actively in politics. People w^ho remember his 
early appearances in court declare lie was an 
able advocate. 

At the time when his career was to receive its 
initial direction the country was agitated by 
discussions and conflicts over the slavery ques- 
tion. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 roused the 
opposition of all those who were hostile to the 
extension of slave territory and gave to the 
anti-slavery movement an impetus and support 
it had never before had. Iowa, bordering as it 



did upon the territory involved, was vitally 
interested in the conflicts that followed. More- 
over, Iowa had been ^'a steadfast Democratic 
State. It had voted for two presidential candi- 
dates, Cass and Pierce. In ... . Con- 
gress it had two Democratic senators, one 
Democratic and one Whig representative. Both 
of the senators and the Democratic represent- 
ative voted for the Kansas-Nebraska Bill; the 
Whig representative did not vote."^*^ 

The southern half of the State was strongly 
pro-slavery, while the northern portion had 
been settled from the regions in the East that 
were opposed to slavery extension. It was in 
Iowa that the first election after the enactment 
of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was to be held. 
James W. Grimes who had been nominated for 
Governor by the Whigs was endorsed by a Free 
Soil convention. He conducted an aggressive 
campaign during w^hich he visited nearly every 
part of the State, driving from county to county 
in his own conveyance. His election in August 
by 23,325 votes over his Democratic opponent, 
who received 21,202 votes, marked the end of 
Democratic supremacy for thirty-five years. 
Another result of this election was the choice 
of an avowed anti-slavery man to the United 
States Senate. Fremont carried the State in 
1856; and two years later Grimes was sent to 
the Senate.^^ 


Beginning his active career under such con- 
ditions Weaver very naturally became involved 
in the slavery agitation. His interest was first 
aroused by a series of debates with George W. 
McCrary on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in the 
country school houses of Van Buren County 
during the winter of 1853-1854. The discovery, 
made at this time, that he had a gift for public 
speaking determined him to study law. Un- 
doubtedly the debates with McCrary, which 
gave him an opportunity to test his ability, 
were of great importance in shaping his career. 

His own account of these debates described 
^^the eventful period" of his life as beginning 
with them. He was clerking for Manning at 
Bonaparte, while McCrary was teaching school 
in the same town. Weaver, who was then a 
Democrat, was drawn into a public debate by 
McCrary who had already become opposed to 
slavery. Before an audience composed largely 
of Democrats Weaver ^^ portrayed the danger 
to the union if slavery was interfered with." 
He forced his opponent ^'into a position in 
which he declared that if it was necessary to 
preserve slavery to preserve the union, then let 
the union go. I had him then and the debate 
was decided for me." 

It was not long after this that Weaver was 
converted to the Free Soil idea by reading the 
New York Tribune and Uncle Tom's Cabin. 


^'At that time, 1856, there were but six known 
Free Soilers in Davis County'', writes Weaver 
in his Memoranda. ^* Being thoroughly im- 
pressed that human slavery was wrong and 
wholly bad, and convinced that the Democratic 
party was hopelessly committed to the insti- 
tution, and pledged to perpetuate and extend 
it, after consultation wdth my parents, I openly 
left my party in 1857 and announced myself as 
a Free Soiler .... Of course this called 
down upon my youthful head the wrath of every 
other Democrat in the locality, but being com- 
bative and having anticipated the inevitable 
result I did not flinch, but prepared to defend 
myself against all assailants. 

^^The clouds were thickening, events multi- 
plying and it became evident to close observers 
that the storm would soon break with the force 
of an avalanche over the whole country. Re- 
cruits began to come into our ranks and soon 
we became aggressive and assailed the defend- 
ers of slavery in the school houses in every part 
of the county. "^^ 

In the course of this activity, Weaver '^went 
into Van Buren County and stumped for Mr. 
McCrary, who was running for ^floating repre- 
sentative', at the request of H. Clay Caldwell, 
afterward judge of the United States Circuit 
Court. My speech was at Keosauqua, in the 
old court house there. Caldwell was so tickled 


over the speech that he kicked a solid walnut 
table to pieces. ''^^ 

Once embarked upon a political career in 
such stirring times, Weaver threw himself 
heartily into the struggle. His own account of 
these years in Iowa, as recorded in his Memo- 
randa, shows his characteristic enthusiasm and 
optimism. *^The election of James W. Grimes 
as Governor in 1854 completely unified the 
Whigs and Free Soilers .... imparted 
to the new and compact force an aggressive 
spirit, and made certain the election of Gov. 
Grimes to the United States Senate in 1858. 
This promotion of our stout hearted leader 
electrified his supporters and cleared the way 
for the great contest for Governor in 1859. 

**The Democracy determined to reclaim the 
ground lost in the Grimes campaign, understood 
fully the importance of selecting their strongest 
man, and accordingly placed in nomination 
Hon. A. C. Dodge who had served in the Senate 
of the United States acceptably and a gentle- 
man of the highest integrity, possessing no 
mean military experience on the frontier, and 
held in the highest esteem throughout the state. 
In addition to this he was at the time of his 
nomination our Minister at the Spanish Court. 

^^The Eepublicans — this was the name 
under which the new force was now acting — 
nominated the Hon. Samuel J. Kirkwood, for- 


merly a Democrat who possessed exceptional 
skill as a campaigner, and immediately the 
struggle waxed hot and became fierce. These 
antagonists were both in their prime and each 
had seen enough of public life to sharpen their 
weapons of offense and defense and to give 
poise in the stress of battle. Kirkwood in those 
days was like a skilled swordsman, adroit, cool, 
knew his ground and always aggressive. Dodge 
was stately, military in bearing, a stickler for 
the old regimen. He invoked the constitution 
as interpreted in the Dred Scott decision and 
plead for the binding character and inviola- 
bility of the Fugitive Slave Law. He plead for 
the Union and predicted dire disaster if the 
decision and the law were ever repealed. But 
Kirkwood was the better debater, more impas- 
sioned and was abreast with the anti-slavery 
tide; while Dodge caught by the receding 
waters of the old feudality which he failed to 
see could never again flow back, was carried out 
and engulfed in inevitable defeat. The world 
was changing and searching out a new orbit. 

^'The campaign included a series of joint de- 
bates between these candidates, and the people 
came in multitudes to hear. A part of the dis- 
cussion related to the Fugitive Slave Law. I 
was present at the Bloomfield encounter and it 
was a titanic struggle. Kirkwood drew a pic- 
ture of a slave mother with a babe in her arms 


fleeing from bondage with her eye on the North 
Star. In close pursuit was her cruel master 
with his bloodhounds hard after her, just as she 
crossed the Iowa line from Missouri. Clench- 
ing his fists and advancing toward Dodge he 
demanded to know if he under such circum- 
stances w^ould turn that fleeing mother and her 
infant back to her pursuing master. Before 
the breathless multitude Kirkwood shouted at 
the top of his voice 'Answer my question!' 
Dodge replied, 'I would obey the law.' Kirk- 
wood retorted, ' So help me, God, I would suffer 
my right arm to be torn from its socket before 
I would do such a monstrous thing!' The 
crowd broke into a frenzy that resembled the 
sweep of a cyclone through a forest. Men grew 
pale and clenched each other in frenzy. The 
whole audience and everybody were carried off 
their feet. The moral sense of the multitude 
had been reached and it was vain to attempt to 
reverse the deep impression which had been 

''However, so evenly balanced were the 
opposing forces in the field that the official 
returns only gave Kirkwood a fraction of above 
3,000 majority in the state over his sturdy 
antagonist, which demonstrated conclusively 
that it was skill in debate and presenting the 
claims of freedom that insured victory in that 
historic struggle. We were passing through 


the pangs of a new birth, and for a while it was 
hard to tell the result. But while the margin 
was small, it was sufficient to place our young 
commonwealth permanently in the anti-slavery 
column and to prepare her people for the his- 
toric uprising of 1860, and the deluge just 

Weaver's actual part in the stirring events 
of the years during which the Republican party 
was taking shape and while the stage was pre- 
paring for the Civil War could not have been a 
large one since he was only twenty-eight in 
1861. One may imagine, however, that he was 
more than an interested spectator, and that his 
personal experiences and observations during 
these years of party change and conflicts left 
impressions that largely explain his belief in 
the possibility of the reorganization of parties 
to serve the interests of the masses of the 

His active participation in affairs led to his 
selection as a delegate from Davis County to 
the Republican State Convention held at Des 
Moines in January, 1860, to name delegates to 
the national nominating convention.^^ With 
Fitz Henry Warren, Jacob Rich, Governor 
Samuel J. Kirkw^ood, James B. Howell, James 
Thorington, Hiram Price, Judge John F. Dillon, 
Amos N. Currier, and F. W. Palmer he is men- 
tioned as among those who in May, 1860, com- 


prised ^^ Iowa's volunteer attendance" at the 
Chicago Convention which nominated Lincoln 
for the Presidency.^^ In addition he is named 
in a list of fifty-eight ^ headers earnestly sup- 
porting Kirkwood" in ISSO.^"^ He is referred 
to as making speeches in the campaigns of 1856 
and 1860, and as * ^ fascinated ' ' by the doctrines 
of Fremont to which ^' he gave himself up . . 
. . with all the ardor of his mature years. "^^ 
To Weaver probably belongs the credit of 
being one of the originators of the expression 
*^the bloody shirt". His own story of the 
origin of the use of the phrase was that a 
*^ preacher by the name of McKinney, a most 
pugnacious and forceful man, moved from 
Davis county to Texas. He was one of these 
fellows who would preach every Sunday if he 
had to be the audience himself. Down in Texas 
one Sunday he got the negroes together at Ft. 
Worth and preached to them. Word was 
passed around that an abolitionist was exciting 
the negroes to insurrection and the citizens got 
together. They took McKinney out and 
whipped him with a rawhide blacksnake whip, 
cutting his shirt into shreds and lacerating his 
body. He returned to Davis county in about 
'55 or '56, and an abolitionist meeting was held 
and I presided. McKinney had his shirt with 
him. A few days later I was at Agency City. 
Senator Grimes, James F. AVilson, Edward 


Stiles and myself were speakers. I recounted 
the outrages on McKinney and had the shirt 
with me. I waved it before the crowds and 
bellowed: ^ Under this bloody shirt we propose 
to march to victory'. I was a very young man 
in those days. ' ' The effect of such a statement 
upon an audience gathered together in south- 
ern Iowa during those years requires no 
elaboration. For nearly twenty years after the 
Civil War *Hhe bloody shirf was regularly 
waved in each campaign, and it rarely failed to 
gain votes for the Eepublicans.^^ 

It was during these years of preparation for 
his w^ork in life that Weaver married Miss 
Clara Vinson, a native of St. Mary's, Ohio, who 
had been teaching school at Keosauqua and 
whom he met while he was clerking at Bona- 
parte. Courtship in those pioneer days meant 
the fording of streams and tramping through 
the woods. On one occasion young Weaver 
undertook to make the trip from Bloomfield to 
Keosauqua; and when he got to Pittsburg he 
found the Des Moines River ^^a seething tor- 
rent, the ice was breaking up and the river was 
full of huge cakes, grinding and rocking and 
almost prohibiting passage. I . . . . got a 
long pole. With the aid of this, I jumped from 
one cake to another until I reached the opposite 
shore. ' ' They were married on July 13, 1858, at 
Keosauqua by Rev. Miltiades Miller.-^ 


MiLiTAKY Record 


As soon as the call for volunteers was issued by 
President Lincoln in April, 1861, a company of 
volunteers was formed at Bloomfield; and of 
this company James Baker, who had served in 
the Mexican War, and James B. Weaver were 
elected captain and first lieutenant. It was the 
hope of these volunteers that they would be 
included in the First Iowa Regiment. Immedi- 
ately upon the organization of the company, 
Baker and Weaver left for Burlington in search 
of Governor Kirkwood to tender to him the 
services of the new company. At Burlington as 
they went on board the boat they met the 
Governor coming off. They retired into the 
cabin, where commissions were issued to 
Weaver and others. 

The Weaver commission bears the date of 
April 23, 1861, the name of the company and of 
the regiment being left blank. The First Regi- 
ment being full before the offer was made, the 
Bloomfield company became Company G of the 
Second Iowa Infantry. To Weaver a later 



commission was issued, under date of May 28, 
1861, in which the company and regiment were 
given their proper designation.^^ 

''Bloomfield was then thirty-five miles from 
a railroad, and the patriotic farmers of the 
neighborhood brought in their teams and 
hauled the embryo warriors to the nearest 
station — Keosauqua.''^^ The rendezvous for 
the troops from southern Iowa was Keokuk; 
and as soon as enough companies had arrived 
to form a regiment, the Second Iowa Infantry 
was organized and mustered into the service of 
the United States. ^^It was the first regiment 
of three years' men .... sent into the 
field, and the first of all to leave Iowa for the 
theatre of war."^^ 

It left Keokuk on June 13th with instructions 
**to take military control of the lines of the 
Hannibal and St. Joseph and North Missouri 
Railroads.'' Colonel Samuel K Curtis stated 
in his official report ^ ' that he received the order 
at one o'clock a. m. and that at five o'clock 
a. m." the regiment was on board the steamer. 
Landing at Hannibal, Missouri, on the same 
day. Colonel Curtis ^^ proceeded to take mili- 
tary possession of the railroads indicated, 
using for that purpose .... a force of 
about 2,700 ' ', including his own regiment. * ^ As 
he advanced, small forces of the enemy were 
encountered and quickly overcome ; flags, muni- 


tions of war, prisoners and supplies were cap- 
tured, and loyal and peaceable citizens assured 
protection. Leaving detachments to guard the 
bridges, buildings and other railroad property 
from destruction, he pressed forward'^, and 
arrived at St. Joseph on June 15, 1861. 

In fifty-six hours from the time orders were 
received at Keokuk, military possession of the 
railroad had been taken and the Confederate 
forces that were mustering through that part 
of the State were scattered and disorganized. 
^'The promptness with which the order was 
obeyed alone saved this important line of rail- 
road for the transportation of Union troops 
and supplies, and prevented a more prolonged 
resistance by the Confederate forces in that 
portion of the State of Missouri. Colonel 
Curtis was promptly promoted to the rank of 
Brigadier General and later was given the rank 
of Major General. '^^4 

The principal points from which the Second 
Iowa Regiment operated during the summer 
and autumn of 1861 were Bird's Point, Ironton, 
Pilot Knob, and Jackson in Missouri, and Fort 
Jefferson in Kentucky. Its duties were of the 
same character as those which it performed so 
well in its first action. ^^The fact of principal 
interest, however, connected with this part of 
the regiment's history, was its unhealthfulness. 
When the command returned to St. Louis, in 


the latter part of October, there were only 
about four hundred men fit for duty. The sick 
list was large in every company. "'^^ 

Remaining in St. Louis during the winter, 
the regiment was assigned to guard duty at 
^^ McDowell College'^, an institution which was 
used ''as a sort of prison'' for persons sus- 
pected of secession sympathies. Some of the 
specimens in the museum having disappeared, 
the regiment was held responsible. By general 
order the command was publicly disgraced, and 
when it embarked for Fort Donelson on Febru- 
ary 10, 1862, it did so ''without music and with 
its colors furled." This disgrace, whether 
deserved or not, was soon wdped out by the 
bravery manifested at Fort Donelson, where 
the Second Iowa led the famous charge.^^ 

During the year 1861 the war had. not been 
vigorously or skilfully conducted, and conse- 
quently the Union arms had suffered during the 
campaigns. But the successes in the West in 
1862 more than reversed the disasters of 1861. 
The first in importance of these victories was 
the capture of Fort Donelson on the Cumber- 
land Eiver in Tennessee, which opened the way 
for the passage of the Union armies up the 
Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. General 
Grant, who had just captured Fort Henry on 
the Tennessee River only twelve miles away, 
had twenty-seven thousand men, while the gar- 


rison of Fort Donelson numbered twenty-one 
thousand. ^^The Federal superiority in num- 
bers was more than balanced by the Confed- 
erate superiority of position: the fort itself 
stood on a bluff one hundred feet above the 
river, dominating also the country to the rear, 
while well-planned intrenchments occupied the 
ridges, all approaches blocked with abatis. . . 

'^ Operations against Donelson began with a 
poor outlook for the Federals. The weather, 
so mild at first as to lead many of the inexperi- 
enced troops to throw away their coats and 
blankets, became cold and stormy. For a day 
or two Grant's force was distinctly inferior, 
and might have been attacked to advantage by 
an enterprising foe. But his front was bold, 
and his reinforcements arrived in time.'' In' 
addition the three Confederate Generals — 
Floyd, Pillow, and Buckner — were not in har- 
mony, and no aggressive attack was made by 
them at a time when it would have been most 

The Second Iowa Regiment was transported 
by water from St. Louis to Fort Donelson 
where it arrived on the 14th of February. 
Heavy skirmishing had occurred on the 13tli, 
but the first determined attack was not made 
till the next day by the gunboats under Foote. 
Meanwhile the army proceeded with the invest- 
ment, which on the evening of the 14th was 


practically complete. It was early on the 15th 
that Pillow attacked the Union right held by 
General John A. McClernand, and after a 
furious battle of four hours the Union troops 
were forced to retire; reenforcements and a 
new supply of ammunition enabled them to re- 
occupy their old position and recapture the 
guns lost in the morning. 

Meanwhile General C. F. Smith held the 
Union left. General Grant ordered him to as- 
sault the fort in order to retrieve the situation 
resulting from McClernand 's retirement. He 
selected as ^^the storming party" the brigade 
commanded by Colonel J. G. Lauman of the 
Seventh Iowa, which was composed of the Sec- 
ond Iowa, the Seventh Iowa, and the Fourteenth 
Iowa, a regiment of '* western sharpshooters", 
and the Tw^enty-fifth and Fifty-second Indiana 
regiments. Colonel J. M. Tuttle with the left 
wing of the Second Iowa led the advance, and 
his official report describes the part played by 
that regiment in the famous charge by which 
victory was won for the Federal arms. 

According to this account the Second Iowa 
on its arrival had been assigned a position on 
the extreme left where it spent ^ ^ a cold and dis- 
agreeable night, without tents or blankets. ' ' It 
remained in this position until 2 P. M. of the 
next day (February 15th) when it received the 
order ^'to storm the fortifications of the enemv 


in front." It proceeded ^'steadily up the Mil 
. . . . without firing a gun. On reaching 
the works, we found the enemy flying before us, 
except a few who were promptly put to the 
bayonet. I then gave the order to fire which 
was responded to with fatal precision until the 
right wing with Lieutenant Colonel Baker 
arrived, headed by General Smith, when we 
formed in line of battle again under a galling 
fire and charged on the encampment across the 
ravine in front, the enemy still retreating be- 
fore us. After we had reached the summit of 
the hill beyond the ravine, we made a stand and 
occupied it for over an hour." Soon after- 
wards Colonel Tuttle retired because of an 
injury, leaving Lieutenant Colonel Baker ^4n 
command until the following morning, when 
the enemy gave signal for a parley, which was 
succeeded by the enjoyable intelligence that 
they had surrendered the fort. We w^ere then 
ordered by General Smith to take the post of 
honor, in marching to the fort, where we placed 
our colors upon the battlements beside the 
white flag of the enemy ^ \ 

The work of the Second Iowa brought from 
Major General H. W. Halleck, department com- 
mander in the West with headquarters at St. 
Louis, a telegram in which he referred to the 
regiment as *Hhe bravest of the brave. They 
had the honor of leading the column which 
entered Fort Donelson." 


A committee of tlie General Assembly of 
Iowa, then in session, was sent to the battle- 
field to care for the wounded ; and on its return 
to Des Moines it carried the flag that had been 
used in the famous charge. The flag was pre- 
sented to the House to be hung near the Speak- 
er's desk till the close of the session, when it 
was to be turned over to the State Historical 
Society for permanent preservation.^^ 

Lieutenant Weaver was with the regiment 
throughout its service from June 13, 1861, to 
the capture of Fort Donelson. He was on rail- 
road guard duty in Missouri from June to 
October and in St. Louis from October to 
February. From October 2nd to 12th he took 
part in an expedition to Charleston, the na- 
ture of which is not specially described.^^ In a 
letter to Mrs. Weaver, written from Fort Don- 
elson, February 19, 1862, he gives a vivid and 
detailed account of the part played by the 
Second Iowa in the assault. 

According to Lieutenant Weaver's descrip- 
tion the regiment landed four miles below the 
fort during the night of the 13th, and the next 
morning '^bright and early .... started 
over the hills in fine spirits to the scene of 
bloody conflict. We were ordered by our Gen- 
eral Smith to the extreme left of the grand 
army [which] encircled this indescribable 
stronghold of secession. The morning of the 


15th dawned cold and desolate .... Early 
. . . . that day the battle began to rage 
with great fury on the right wing (though they 
had been fighting at intervals for nearly two 
days) and lasted until about two o'clock when 
Gen'l Smith rode up to our regiment and in- 
formed them that he expected the left wing of 
our Regiment, including our company, to 
charge the breastworks of the enemy about 
four hundred yards distant from us in full 
view. These works were situated on the brow 
of a very steep hill all over which the enemy 
had felled in wild confusion, heavy timber 
which had grown there. Several other regi- 
ments had made the attempt to storm the well 
planned works of the enemy before and had 
failed with terrible loss. Hence the reason for 
sending but half of our regiment. It was 
enough to sacrifice. 

**Col. Tuttle took charge of our wing and 
Col. Baker the right wing which was to come to 
our support after we had gained the works. 
We were ordered not to fire a gun until we had 
driven them from their works at the point of 
the bayonet. The command of ^forward march' 
was given, and at quick time we moved for- 
ward to the terrible slaughter and to a more 
wonderful triumph. Presently we came within 
short range of the enemy's trenches when they 
opened upon us a terrible and deathly cross 


fire. All around us and amongst us flew the 
missiles of death and all around and on every 
side of me men were falling in the agonies of 
death .... But on, on we went without 
firing a gun or saying a word except those of 
cheer to our men until we gained the works and 
then with an awful yell we leaped into the 
midst of the enemy and here our revenge be- 
gan. And such a holocaust to the demon of 
battles! Everywhere could be seen the enemy 
falling in death while ever and anon some one 
of our own boys would lay down and give up 
the ghost. On we went until we gained the 
second hill. Our right wing was now with us 
and we were fighting with desperation, but our 
ammunition was about exhausted and we were 
compelled to fall back to the entrenchment we 
had just taken. We came back very slowly and 
silently. But the enemy had got enough of us 
and did not pursue. When we got there we 
found the 7th and 14th Iowa, the 25th and 52d 
Indiana Regiments occupying the earthworks 
and eager for the enemy to come upon them. 
Here we were ordered by Gen'l Smith to form 
our Regiment outside of the breastworks and to 
lay under their cover all night ready to fight if 
attacked and 4n the morning', said he, ^we will 
advance and drive them from the next tier of 
works or lose every man in my division'. 

*^We formed over near those who remained 


and there we lay without shelter or fire until 
daylight. During the time we looked around 
for our dead and wounded .... About 
daylight we were supplied with ammunition 
and it w^as expected that we were going to 
move forward. But the enemy, thank God, be- 
gan to ^ sound the bugle for the parley', and 
presently we saw moving everywhere white 
flags. It was Sabbath morning and we sup- 
posed they wanted to bury their dead. But no, 
it was unconditional surrender. And then such 
a shouting! Our flag was moved from the 
breastworks, and in a few minutes our regiment 
was informed that the General desired to give 
the 2nd Iowa the distinguished honor of mov- 
ing into the fort first and of planting our flag 
upon the ramparts of their citadel. Here I 
wept like a child. We marched in and such a 
sight! 25,000 prisoners w^ere there formed to 
receive us. Voltaire Twombly, our flag bearer, 
unfurled our banner on the walls. But I shall 
have to stop. I was struck on my right arm 
but it did not hurt me. My cap was shot 
through and my head grazed but through the 
providence of God I was saved. Thank God! 
Let us ever worship Him.''-^^ 

An interesting letter from John A. Duck- 
worth, then second sergeant in Company G, to 
the editor of the ^'home paper" at Bloomfield 
gives an account of the same events. It refers 


to Lieutenant Weaver during the assault as 
passing "quickly from right to left, reminding 
us of our duty, and charging us to ^keep cooP ^\ 
Of incidents it mentions Colonel Baker and 
Lieutenant Weaver as each receiving a ball 
through their caps.^^ Colonel Tuttle, in his 
official report, refers to Weaver and eight other 
lieutenants by name as deporting ''themselves 
nobly throughout the engagement. ''^- 

''Of the six hundred and thirty officers and 
men who formed the storming party, being all 
of the regiment fit for duty at the time ' \ thirty- 
three were killed and one hundred and sixty- 
four were wounded. The losses of the Second 
Iowa were higher by more than one hundred 
percent than those of the regiment standing 
next in number of casualties, the Twenty-fifth 
Indiana. From Company G the losses were six 
killed and twenty-two wounded.-*^-^ 

General Grant believed that in the confusion 
following the fall of Fort Donelson a good 
leader, well supported by the united Union 
forces in the West ''could have marched to 
Chattanooga, Corinth, Memphis, and Vicks- 
burg". The Union armies, however, were not 
united, and General Halleck seems to have been 
suspicious and jealous of Grant, with the result 
that the victory was not immediately followed 
up. After a costly delay, which had given the 
Confederates time to rallv from the confusion 


that followed the unexpected defeat, the Union 
troops moved up the Tennessee to attack ^'the 
strategic points on the Mississippi and Ala- 
bama frontiers". At the end of March it 
appears that Grant had about 33,000 men '^at 
and near Pittsburg Landing", while twenty 
miles distant Johnston and Beauregard occu- 
pied Corinth with 40,000 troops. Buell with 
about 30,000 was marching to join Grant. 
Would the Confederate General attack before 
the two Union armies united P^ 

The Second Iowa remained nearly a month 
in the vicinity of Fort Donelson, and then 
embarked for Pittsburg Landing where it ar- 
rived on the 19th of March. The men encamped 
about one mile from the landing and remained 
there in quiet till Sunday morning, April 6th, 
when it took part in the Battle of Shiloh which 
lasted during that day and the next.^^ 

This battle was the result of an attempt on 
the part of the Confederate generals to redeem 
the losses due to the fall of Donelson. Believ- 
ing that no offensive would be taken by his 
opponents so soon after their defeat. Grant 
neglected defensive measures and thus exposed 
himself to attack. The Confederate army left 
Corinth on April 3rd, but stormy weather and 
bad roads caused the delay of the attack 
planned for April 5th to the next day. During 
the afternoon of the same day the advance 


guard of Buell's army arrived in the neighbor- 
hood, but did not push on to Pittsburg Landing 
since Grant did not anticipate a fight at that 
point. The result was that the first day's 
battle witnessed 40,000 Confederate troops 
confronting 33,000 Union troops. 

The contest on the first day continued twelve 
hours and was a Confederate victory. Never- 
theless the outcome w^as a disappointment since 
the plan was to capture the Union army, or at 
least to drive it from the field in complete con- 
fusion. On the next day the Confederates had 
to meet the fresh troops of Buell who had 
arrived late on Sunday, April 6th. At two 
o'clock, after eight hours of fighting, the Con- 
federate commander gave the order to retire, 
and this was accomplished in good order; no 
effective pursuit was made by the Union 

It was under the command of Lieutenant 
Colonel Baker that the Second Iowa partici- 
pated in the Battle of Shiloh, since Colonel 
Tuttle, having won the rank of Brigadier 
General at Donelson, had been placed in com- 
mand of a brigade composed of the Second, 
Seventh, Twelfth, and Fourteenth Iowa In- 
fantry. During the first day's battle it formed 
part of the Second Division, commanded by 
General W. H. L. Wallace. Beginning early 
that day the enemy made repeated attacks for 


about six hours. By that time the troops on 
each side had given way so as to give the enemy 
an opportunity to turn both flanks, and conse- 
quently General Wallace gave orders for the 
whole brigade to fall back. "The Second and 
Seventh retired through a severe fire from both 
flanks, and reformed, while the Twelfth and 
Fourteenth .... delayed by their en- 
deavors to save a battery which had been placed 
in their rear, were completely surrounded and 
compelled to surrender." 

The two regiments that had escaped capture 
formed, along with fragments of other regi- 
ments, "an important part of the line of last 
resistance at Shiloh on the 6th of April, and 
again the regiment occupied a post of honor. 
On Monday, the 7th, the Second low^a was 
placed under the orders of General Nelson 
[General Wallace was killed April 6tli] and 
made a bayonet charge in a most gallant man- 
ner, the enemy giving way before them. It will 
thus be seen that the regiment well sustained 
at Shiloh the record it had made at Donelson.'^ 
The entire loss of the Second Iowa was between 
seventy and eighty men.'^^ 

Lieutenant Weaver described the battle in a 
letter written to his wife on April 9, 1862. In 
this account he stated that "the enemy under 
Beauregard, one hundred thousand strong, 
made a most vigorous attack .... Our 


force was somewhat surprised but from 6 
o'clock A. M. until dark, the battle raged all 
along our lines (hve miles in length) with the 
greatest fury. Buell had not yet reached us. 
The enemy greatly outnumbered us and the 
slaughter was of the most horrid character and 
magnitude on both sides. The enemy had 
driven us slowly back during the entire day, 
though our men contested every inch of ground 
they passed over with a zeal worthy the highest 
admiration. Nothing could be heard during the 
entire day but a continuous roar of artillery 
and musketry. About sun down we succeeded 
in checking the enemy's advance and after a 
most awful battle between our artillery and that 
of the enemy in which we fearfully worsted 
them, the battle closed for the day, both armies 
lying within gun shot of each other. During 
the night Buell's force came up and formed in 
our front in a masterly manner all along the 
lines. At daylight we made an attack upon the 
enemy .... Then came on the bitterest 
contest ever witnessed on this continent. But 
the enemy could not stand. At 4 o'clock P. M. 
we had him completely whipped and driven 
pell mell in perfect rout. The day is over, thank 
God, and the entire rebel army in the West 
badly, fearfully, routed and all cut to pieces 
and completely demolished. We captured 
nearly all their artillery and small arms in 


great quantity. The enemy retreated in per- 
fect disorder, throwing away all they had. 
Eeport from our headquarters says that 
Mitchel with about 40,000 men has taken 
Corinth with about 13,000 prisoners. All is 
ours. No more fighting in this woods for us of 
any consequence. Company *G' had nobody 
killed. Wounded, Capt. Moore, severely, in 
both legs, not dangerous .... The bal- 
ance of the company are all safe. Our wounded 
are getting along well and are not in the least 
danger. . . . 

^ ' We had killed and wounded about 8,000, the 
enemy about 10,000. The field is covered with 
dead for miles in length and breadth. I do not 
pretend to state the precise number of killed or 
wounded on either side, although the enemy 
suffered vastly more than our forces. . . . 

^^Our regiment did not suffer very badly, 
although they have suffered enough God knows. 
We had 72 w^ounded and 7 killed, 5 missing. We 
had five captains and lieutenants wounded, 
none killed. The 12th and 14th Iowa were most 
all taken prisoners the first day and are yet in 
their hands. . . . Have not got any pay 
yet. Col. B. is safe .... On the battle- 
field just before our regiment became engaged 
I took out the little testament you gave me and 
read a psalm. It did me good.' '^^ 

After the battle of Shiloh it appears that 


General Halleck assumed personal command of 
the main army at Pittsburg Landing and began 
^^with pick and spade" a slow advance upon 
Corinth. Beauregard with greatly inferior 
forces held him at bay for a long time and 
finally left ^'only the shell of his camp." 
Corinth was occupied by the Union armies on 
May 30th, and Halleck was called to Washing- 
ton in July to become general-in-chief, leaving 
the Western forces in charge of Buell and 

The Federal armies now dominated a vast 
area, including Kentucky, most of Tennessee, a 
section of Alabama, and a smaller portion of 
Mississippi; *^but the population was hostile; 
the lines of communication ran through long, 
unfriendly distances from Louisville, the far- 
away base on the Ohio River .... The 
inhabitants showed their hostility by communi- 
cating misleading intelligence, by cutting off 
stragglers and small detachments, by swooping 
down in guerilla bands even upon heavy col- 
umns drawn out in a long march. ' ' 

In September Grant sent to Buell two divi- 
sions to aid in the defeat of the Confederate 
invasion of Kentucky and Tennessee; ''he still 
had forty-six thousand men in the two armies 
of the Tennessee and Mississippi, but they 
were much scattered, guarding posts and com- 
munications in a hostile country. ' ' There were 


considerable Confederate forces in and near 
Vicksburg; and Memphis, "an unfriendly 
city'^ must be held ''as the base to which trans- 
ports brought" supplies. The Army of the 
Mississippi lay at Corinth with 23,000 men 
under General W. S. Rosecrans. Most of the 
active work of dealing with the Confederates 
fell to Rosecrans during this period. On Sep- 
tember 19th at luka, Alabama, a fight occurred 
between the Federal forces and a part of the 
Confederate army. Early in October the com- 
bined forces of the enemy attacked Rosecrans 
at Corinth — the opposing armies being about 
equal in strength. The fight continued for two 
days, October 3rd and 4th, when the Confed- 
erates were allowed to retire without effective 

The Second Iowa Infantry remained in camp 
near Pittsburg Landing till the campaign 
against Corinth began. Its record during this 
period was devoid of notewortliy incidents. It 
joined in the pursuit of the Confederate army 
after the evacuation of Corinth, which involved 
several days of hard marching. Afterwards it 
went into camp near Corinth. The next oper- 
ation of any importance by the Second Iowa 
was a march to luka ; but the men did not take 
part in the battle there on September 19th. 
During this period Colonel Tuttle had been 
made a brigadier-general, Lieutenant Colonel 


James Baker had become colonel, and Lieuten- 
ant Weaver had been promoted to major, on 
the eve of the battle of Corinth.^'^ 

The circumstances under which Lieutenant 
Weaver received his commission as major were 
described by him to his son only a week or ten 
days before his death. He was ^'in charge of 
the outside guard on the picket line on the 
evening of October 2, 1862. While thus en- 
gaged Col. Baker .... rode up to Lieut. 
Weaver and said to him, 'Lieutenant, you are 
placed under arrest. ^ .... he saluted the 
Colonel, drew his sword and reversing it, 
handed it to the Colonel, at the same time say- 
ing, 'what does this mean!' Col. Baker then 
drew from his pocket a paper which he handed 
to Weaver. On being opened it proved to be 
his commission as Major of the Eegiment. 
Col. Baker then said to Weaver 'I had this 
done because I know that if anything happens 
to your superior officers I can depend upon you 
to take care of the Regiment \'' The commis- 
sion as major was dated July 25, 1862.^^ 

From a different angle John M. Duffield, 
captain of Company G from which Weaver was 
promoted, gives a more detailed account of the 
circumstances of his promotion and also of his 
later appointment as colonel of the regiment. 
*'0n the 2nd day of October '', writes Duffield, 
*'as well as I remember, the word came to the 


camp that Lieutenant Weaver had been com- 
missioned Major of the regiment, and that I 
was ordered to relieve him. He was then in 
charge of the outside guard, and I was ordered 
to go and relieve him, and take his place in 
command of the guard. The next morning 
when I returned to camp, I saw there was great 
dissatisfaction among the line officers because 
of a Lieutenant having been promoted to Major 
over all of the Captains of the Regiment. 

^ ' This feeling seemed to exist until the battle 
of Corinth which took place on the 3d. day of 
October. On that day Colonel Baker was mor- 
tally wounded, on the 4th day of October 
Lieutenant [Colonel] Mills was mortally 
wounded, and the command devolved on Major 
Weaver who had only two days before that 
been First Lieutenant, and had never been in 
command of a regiment, or maneuvered a regi- 
ment. Major Weaver seemed to realize the 
responsibility that rested upon him, and dis- 
played the greatest courage in directing his 
men, in keeping close to the line of battle, and 
encouraging his men to advance on the enemy. 
When we had driven the enemy from the field, 
a reenforcement of the enemy under Colonel 
Johnson of the 18th Arkansas advanced on us. 
Major Weaver rode up and down the line wav- 
ing his revolver over his head, and calling upon 
the men to bring the enemy's colors down, and 





up that Lieutenant^: \ eom- 

-i«med Major of t|e regiment, ani that I 

rderod to reliev^ Mm. He wa> '?i 

«..^c of the 'M'f--^- --^a^d, ar - ^ - - 1 

go and It _ ^d ta ^a 

mmand of the gu^d-^ The ii ning 

aw the it- was great 

=.c.v,.v^.. «.!.., ine officers because 

! ieutenant ^av* . . promoted f^> Major 

v-r all of t) u§s of the Re 

"^ is feeling ^ to exist m>' 

^'nih whici. .^.v.. jjlace on ^' .f 

. that day Colonel i ■ v- 

mded, 4th day of October 

it [Co Mills was mortally 

'-d thi. ......,../ -'"J -1...-..U-0.7 ... -\f.;... 

had only 

inantj n 

■ or nianeavered a regi- 

,, , ...Mr. ,./i to realize the 

that i him, and dis- 

iest (^uPage in directing his 

^^' file line of battle, and 

Ma,.,.. .. :,:: 

ing his ri ju 

the men to br . and 


every time that lie shouted .... he fired at 
the man carrying the colors with his own re- 
volver. When the sergeant carrying the colors 
fell, the enemy fled, and Major Weaver was the 
only man I saw in that charge on horseback; 
all the other officers had dismounted. After- 
wards, when I was asked who that young officer 
was that so gallantly rode up and down the line 
encouraging his men, I told them it was Major 
Weaver who had only two days before been 
promoted from the First Lieutenancy from the 
company which I commanded in that battle. 
The man who asked me the question, then re- 
marked, that that was one of the bravest men 
he ever saw. 

''Ten days after that battle the line officers 
met together to recommend someone for Col- 
onel of the Regiment, and I believe that General 
Weaver received the vote of every officer . . 
. . for Colonel, and I am satisfied that his 
bravery in that battle was what removed the 
prejudice that seemed to exist by reason of his 
having been promoted over other officers a few 
days before. ''^2 

The official report of the part taken by the 
Second Infantry in the battle of Corinth was 
made by Major Weaver. According to his 
account the regiment went into the engagement 
''with three field, two staff, and twenty-one line 
officers, and three hundred and twenty men. 


making an aggregate of three hundred and 
forty-six. In the first day's battle near White 
House, which was most stubbornly contested, 
the loss of the regiment was very heavy, par- 
ticularly in officers .... an aggregate 
of forty-two killed, wounded and missing in the 
first day's engagement .... total killed, 
wounded and missing in both days ' engagement, 
108. ... 

*' Colonel Baker fell mortally wounded on the 
first day, at the very time his regiment was 
charging on the retreating enemy with the 
greatest enthusiasm and fury. He remarked as 
he was being borne from the field, ^ Thank God 
when I fell my regiment was victoriously 
charging'. Lieutenant Colonel Mills was 
wounded in the second day's engagement, while 
fighting with the most conspicuous courage and 
coolness .... Colonel Baker expired on 
the morning of the 7th at 11 o'clock and Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Mills on the 12th at 7 o'clock 
. . . . After the fall of Lieutenant Colonel 
Mills, .... the command devolved upon 
myself. "^^ 

Two letters to his wife written by Major 
Weaver from Corinth and dated October 6th 
and 12th supplement his official report. In one 
he writes that he assumed '^command in the 
forenoon of the 2nd day of the fight and took 
the Kegiment triumphantly through". In the 


other letter he refers to the death of Colonel 
Baker and indulges in some reflections natur- 
ally produced by the experiences through which 
he had been passing. His deeply religious 
nature is clearly displayed in this letter.^^ 

After Corinth the Second Iowa, now reduced 
in numbers by heavy losses, continued in ser- 
vice in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, 
during the fall and winter of 1862 and the spring 
and early summer of 1863. For a whole year it 
participated in no general engagement, but 
formed part of the forces under General G. M. 
Dodge, which indirectly assisted General Grant 
in his campaign against Vicksburg by *' keeping 
open communications between Middle and West 
Tennessee, in preventing raids, and in many 
other ways''. In the summer of 1863 the en- 
campment was moved to Lagrange, Tennessee, 
and late in October to Pulaski where it went 
into winter quarters.*^ 

From Pulaski the regiment started upon its 
last great campaign, that of Atlanta. It left 
Pulaski on April 29, 1864, and on May 9th 
began skirmishing with the enemy in Georgia. 
From that date till the fall of Atlanta in Sep- 
tember it was almost constantly ^^ within the 
sound of skirmish or battle". On May 14th 
and 15th under the command of Colonel Weaver 
it took part in the fighting which accompanied 
the crossing of the Oostanaula River near 


Resaca, Georgia. ''The regiment was the first 
one thrown across the river after the pontoons 
were laid, and .... by threatening the 
enemy's communications, caused Eesaca to be 
evacuated." This was the last enterprise in 
w^hich Colonel Weaver commanded, as his three 
year term of enlistment expired May 28, 1864, 
when upon being mustered out he returned to 

After the fall of Atlanta the regiment joined 
in* the march to the sea, during which it "had 
little fighting, except .... when General 
Rice crossed the Ogeechee River in face of the 
enemy and had a brisk engagement, in which 
the Confederates were quickly and handsomely 
whipped with considerable loss. The Second 
lost two men slain and as many wounded in 
this brilliant affair. A fortnight afterwards 
the grand army entered Savannah in triumph. '^ 
Late in January, 1865, after about a month 
spent in the city, the march northward began. 
The last battles of the regiment were fought 
near Columbia and Lynch 's Creek, South Caro- 
lina, in February. At the latter place "many 
of the men fought in their 'birth-day suits', 
having stripped to cross the stream", and en- 
countering the enemy's cavalry before com- 
pleting the crossing. At Bentonville, the last 
of General Sherman's engagements, the regi- 
ment was in the reserves. 


The Second Infantry marched by Goldsboro, 
Raleigh, Petersburg, and Richmond to Wash- 
ington where it took part in the grand review 
in May, 1865. Remaining in camp near the city 
till early in June, it then proceeded to Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, where it was mustered out of 
service on July 12th. From Louisville the 
regiment moved to Davenport "where it was 
received by the citizens en masse, and wel- 
comed back to the State by the Hon. Hiram 
Price, Representative in Congress. Colonel 
Howard responded briefly, and the regiment 
marched to camp for the last time, and was 
soon finally disbanded."*'^ 

Colonel Weaver had been mustered out May 
27, 1864, at the expiration of his term of enlist- 
ment, and honorably discharged from service. 
Consequently he had no part in the later 
activities of the Second Iowa around Atlanta 
and on the march northward. He returned to 
Bloomfield and entered actively upon the prac- 
tice of his profession. His military experiences 
"made a deep impression upon his character. 
He ever remained a warm defender of those 
who had taken part in defending the Union and 
both in public and private life remained loyal 
to his comrades. '^ He was "brevetted Briga- 
dier General United States Volunteers, March 
13, 1865, ^for gallant and meritorious services 
and conduct on the field of battle ^"'^^ 


Captain A. A. Stuart, in his volume on Iowa 
Colonels and Regiments , describes Weaver ^'as 
a good and brave officer", and adds that ^^ there 
are few who were as cool as he in battle. At 
Shiloh, while the 2d and 7th Iowa were running 
that terrible gauntlet, on the afternoon of the 
first day's fight. Captain Moore, of company 
G, was shot through both legs and disabled. 
Lieutenant Weaver stopped, picked him up, and 
bore him from the field. Under the circum- 
stances, not one man in five thousand would 
have imitated his example. He is a member of 
the Methodist Church, and is one of the few 
officers who abstained from the use of liquor in 
the service. ''^^ 


Commander of the Post at Pulaski 

As has been stated the Second Iowa Infantry 
was stationed at Pulaski, Tennessee, from 
November, 1863, to April, 1864, during which 
time Colonel Weaver ^^was assigned to the 
command of the post at Pulaski by order of 
Gen. G. M. Dodge, commander of the left wing 
of the 16th army corps. . . . Gen. Dodge 
issued an order and made it public, in which he 
stated that his army was in need of supplies of 
every kind, and that if the people would bring 
in supplies, vouchers would be rendered for the 
same without making any inquiries as to the 
loyalty or disloyalty of the parties. The people 
brought in their supplies and vouchers were 
given, and they were all paid by the assistant 
commissary general, Cyrus C. Carpenter. 

*^ During my administration as commander 
of the posf , reads the Weaver statement, *^a 
large number of refugees came within our 
lines. They came from the Confederate army 
in Alabama and elsewhere. They were totally 
without supplies and destitute, and at that time 
they could not be allowed to depart without 
restraint. Gen. Dodge issued an order com- 



manding me [Weaver] to make a levy of $2000, 
as I now remember, from wealthy citizens living 
in the vicinity, for the purpose of paying for 
supplies necessary for the sustenance of these 
refugees. In obedience to that order I issued 
an order reciting the authority under which I 
was acting, and served it upon certain parties 
. . . . The money collected was paid direct 
to Col. Cyrus C. Carpenter, assistant commis- 
sary general .... and did not pass 
through my hands, if I remember correctly, 
and the wants of the refugees were supplied. 
In no event was one cent retained by myself 

^^I did not dispossess any one of their dwell- 
ing houses and appropriate the same for officers 
quarters during my stay in Pulaski. My head- 
quarters were in the Court House and I boarded 
with a private family, that of Mrs. Ballentyne. 
The officers of my regiment lived in their tents 
in line with their respective companies. The 
several divisions, brigades and regiments en- 
camped at Pulaski were not under my author- 
ity — not even my own regiment — while I was 
in command of the post .... My associ- 
ation with the people was as peaceful and 
fraternal as possible during the existence of 
hostilities, and remarkably so in all that region 
of the country. "^^ 

The foregoing statement made by Colonel 


Weaver was in reply to charges of cruelty and 
oppression directed at him by political oppo- 
nents during the campaign of 1892. His speech- 
making tour in the South was disturbed by 
threats of violence, and he was compelled to 
give up his appointments in Georgia where 
systematic opposition was encountered. The 
basis of this hostility was a revival of sectional 
feeling aimed at a political candidate who 
threatened to weaken the dominant party con- 
trol in the South. Its spirit was shown by the 
remark of one of the residents of Pulaski who, 
addressing a reporter sent to investigate the 
charges, referred to Weaver as that ** darned 
Yankee Colonel. "^^ 

In a letter addressed to Weaver at the time, 
General Dodge declared that ^'twenty-five or 
thirty years after the war they propose to 
punish in the South a good soldier, which you 
were, for simply obeying orders from a supe- 
rior officer; it does not make any difference to 
me w^hether the orders were good or bad or 
cruel. It is a very singular thing because a 
soldier obeyed an order in the Federal army he 
should be denounced in the South where their 
orders were far more strict than ours. 

''Then, again, it is very singular to me that 
Giles County, Tennessee, should object to any 
order, because, as you know I commanded there. 
I did not force the oath upon any person. I 


said to those people — knowing them to be all 
in sympathy with the South — that if they 
would send in to our different posts what they 
had to sell we would buy it from them, but if we 
went after it we would not pay for it. 

^^Now, the refugee order was an order from 
General Sherman to me and I gave it to you. 
General Sherman planted himself upon the 
ground that these were their own people. And 
if because they were Union people they forced 
them out of their line into ours, that the Rebels 
in our lines should take care of them. ' ' ^^ 

Another account of Colonel Weaver's con- 
duct as commander of the post at Pulaski was 
by a resident of the place written twenty-eight 
years later in reply to an inquiry by the editor 
of the The Weekly Toiler of Nashville, Ten- 
nessee. The writer referred to Colonel Weaver 
*^as a Christian gentleman'' whom he had 
known well, as his tent had been on his *^ prem- 
ises, within sixty feet of my dwelling house, for 
one whole winter. His tent was his head- 
quarters until he was ordered to the court- 
house, which was in full view, to take command 
of the post, which duty he performed until his 
regiment was ordered to Chattanooga. He was 
commander of the post say about half the 
winter of 1863-4, but his tent was not taken 
down until he made his final move. . . . 

^^I had built my house in the edge of a grove 


of tall trees, the nearest grove to the town of 
Pulaski, looking to the eastward. It was a 
grand grove and I felt proud of it. On the 
evening of the day that the 2d Iowa took pos- 
session of and encamped in my grove I sought 
Col. Weaver and plead for my grove, telling 
him that I had been raised in the country 
amongst the trees, and had it not been for that 
grove I should not have remained in the coun- 
try; and more than that, that I intended to 
preserve it for the benefit of others as well as 
for myself. Just at that moment I spied some 
soldiers passing, each with a couple of fence 
rails on his shoulder. I remarked if my fences 
are burned they can be replaced but if this 
grove is destroyed I can not live long enough to 
grow another. Col. Weaver straightened him- 
self to his full heighth and declared with 
emphasis, *It shall not be cut' . . . .He 
did not go back on his word. He gave me to 
understand that he did not make war upon the 
citizen. * ' ^^ 

A reporter for The Weekly Toiler also inter- 
viewed Mr. A. J. Ballentine, a prominent citizen 
of Pulaski, with whose mother Colonel Weaver 
boarded during his stay in that town. His 
reply to a question for information ^^ about this 
rascal Weaver'' was a vigorous one. *^ Young 
man, if you want to hear anything in the way 
of abuse of Gen. Weaver never come to a 


Ballentine after it. As for me, I never saw 
Gen. Weaver, and was opposed to him during 
the w^ar and am against him now [1892]. With 
all that, I can never say a word against a man 
who protected my mother and sister as Gen. 
Weaver did while he boarded with them. He 
knew that my mother had four sons in the Con- 
federate army, yet he treated her with the 
greatest respect. I was in the army at the time 
and know nothing of Weaver, as an officer or as 
a gentleman. All I know is that mother said 
he was a gentleman, and a kind-hearted, brave 
soldier. So, you see, young man, when my 
mother (she's been dead two years now) tells 
me that this man was a nice man, it is hard for 
me to believe otherwise. I remember one morn- 
ing after the close of the war that she asked me 
to see after some papers she had. They proved 
to be vouchers for supplies given to Weaver. 
I took them very reluctantly and told her she 
w^ould never realize anything on them. A few 
weeks later she asked me about them, and I con- 
fessed that I thought so little about them that 
I had lost them down at the store. Gen. 
Weaver, however, came to the rescue, and tried 
to get the money for us. My brother was with 
the general in congress and I have heard him 
speak of Weaver often. ^'^^ 

Defending the Home Country 

Iowa, like all States near the boundary between 
slave and free territory, suffered from disturb- 
ances caused by sympathizers with the South. 
So-called Copperheads opposed the war and 
urged peace much as do the pacifists of the 
present. Under the mask of opposition to the 
war, ^'Knights of the Golden Circle, draft 
evaders, deserters", and other more disrepu- 
table characters committed all sorts of out- 
rages, not even stopping short of murder. The 
first open violence occurred in Keokuk County 
in August, 1863 ; while in October of the same 
year Fremont County witnessed similar out- 
breaks. In October, 1864, ^^ outrageous mur- 
ders were committed in Sugar Creek Township, 
Poweshiek County." 

Murders of Union men also took place in 
Davis County at about the same time. ' ^ Twelve 
young men, dressed in Federal uniform, mount- 
ed on splendid horses, and armed with from 
two to seven revolvers each, entered the county 
near the southeast corner, on the morning of 
the 12th of October, 1864." They rode through 



the county, robbing the farmers along their 
route and threatening all sorts of violence. 
Many of the people of Bloomfield were at the 
county fair, and when rumors of the raid 
reached there, it resulted in the breaking up of 
the fair and the return to town of the men. An 
attack was ^^momentarily expected; men were 
placed on the tops of houses, as look-outs, to 
watch and warn us of approaching danger. 
Men, women, and children were hurrying to and 
fro .... All was hurry, bustle, and con- 
fusion; all were willing and vied with each 
other in getting ready to meet the danger . . 
. . But there was no one to take command, 
and bring order out of chaos. The voice of a 
citizen was heard above the din and confusion, 
proposing that Col. J. B. Weaver, late of the 
2d Iowa Infantry, take command of all the 
militia, and that every man would yield prompt 
and implicit obedience to his command. A 
universal shout of approval rang out along the 
lines, and confidence was seen and felt in the 
cheerful obedience to every order issued. 

^*A company of mounted men, led by Col. 
Weaver .... started in pursuit late in 
the afternoon, leaving the command of the 
militia, for the defense of the town'', to Lieu- 
tenant Colonel S. A. Moore who was '^mate- 
rially assisted by Capt. Gray, Capt. Minge, and 
a large number of returned soldiers, whose 


nerves had been trained to steadiness at Fort 
Donelson, Shiloh, Pea Ridge, siege of Vicks- 
burg and other fields, made glorious by their 
valor/' The force under Colonel Weaver fol- 
lowed the trail until midnight, when they were 
in Missouri, five miles behind the raiders. 
Finding it impossible to overtake them, ^Hhey 
reluctantly retraced their steps homeward/' 

Preparations were made for the defense of 
the county seat. Rumors came that the Con- 
federate army was on the western ^ ^ side of the 
Missouri river; the valley of the Des Moines, 
with its immense supplies of provisions and 
forage, was surely [its] destination unless met 
and driven back by the federal army .... 
The inhabitants of the county w^ere fully 
aroused to the importance of the occasion; 
companies, armed and unarmed, were called 
out, and performed cheerfully the guard and 
patrol duties assigned them." 

An order was issued by the Governor's aid- 
de-camp ^^to Col. Weaver, instructing him to 
take command of the entire militia forces of 
the county, and to put as many men on duty on 
the border as he thought the public safety re- 
quired. One hundred mounted men and two 
commissioned officers w^ere detailed by the 
Colonel, and assigned to duty along the south 
line of the county, with instructions to patrol 


the roads day and night. Twenty-five men were 
detailed to do duty in the county seat, and in- 
structed to arrest every suspicious-looking 
stranger that could be found in the vicinity. 
The same instructions were given to the troops 
on the border .... Over one hundred 
persons have been arrested and turned back to 
Missouri, at one post (Savannah). Ceaseless 
vigilance was the order of the day. A chain of 
couriers was appointed, reaching to every 
school district in the border townships, and 
every precaution taken to guard against 

^^On the evening of the 21st day of October, 
1864, a courier arrived .... from Pu- 
laski, with the intelligence that a body of 
twenty-five mounted men had been seen that 
morning, some three or four miles from Milton, 
in Van Buren county. Some forty men were 
immediately mounted on horseback, many of 
them * pressed' for the occasion, and started in 
the direction of Milton, fifteen miles distant, 
under command of Col. Weaver. ' ' On the way 
information was received that the raiders were 
encamped six miles south of Milton. At Milton 
they found ^^the militia of Troy, Pulaski, and 
other posts of the county, with the forces in the 
vicinity". About daylight the next morning 
the force reached the place where the raiders 
were supposed to be encamped only to find that 


they had left there about nine o'clock the pre- 
ceding evening. ^^The command was again 
mounted, and started in pursuit ; but with some 
nine hours the start of us, it was impossible to 
overtake them. Their tracks indicated that 
they had divided into small squads, taking as 
many different roads. We scoured the country 
for some twenty miles in Missouri, and failing 
to find them, returned''. 

From that time to the evening of November 
seventh there was comparative quiet, although 
^^the number of strangers constantly passing 
and attempting to pass through the county" 
gave rise to the fear that ^^ Southern fugitives" 
would concentrate ^ ^ somewhere near the border, 
and make another raid for pillage and murder. ' ' 

On November 7th six persons entered the 
county from the east, traveling in pairs. Two 
of them stopped at a house and ^'in a rude, 
boisterous manner demanded something to 
eat". On the refusal of the lady of the house 
^^0 get dinner for them, they helped themselves 
to what they could find in the cupboard, and 
left." They went to another house and put up 
for the night. Three men of the neighborhood 
determined to arrest them and went to the 
house where they were staying. In the strug- 
gle that followed one member of the arresting 
party was killed and one wounded, while one 
of the strangers was injured but managed to 


escape. The militia arrived in a short time and 
pursued, but in the darkness the men made 
their escape. Their horses and equipment were 
captured. '^ Their saddle-pockets were filled 
with powder, balls, percussion-caps, bullet- 
molds, horse-shoe nails. Everything about 
their equipages indicated that they were rebel 
bushwhackers or Confederate soldiers." 

The news of this outrage reached Bloomfield 
quickly. *^The militia were called out, the 
roads were patrolled and guarded in every 
direction. Quite a number of strangers had 
been seen during the day in different parts of 
the county. Many believed that an attack was 
contemplated the next day, the day of the 
Presidential election. ' ' 

Arrests were made, and at one time there 
were as many as thirteen men in jail. Two 
United States detectives ^^came along, and be- 
ing arrested and confined with the prisoners 
obtained much information of value .... 
in regard to the future movements in contem- 
plation by the bands of scoundrels who have 
infested northern Missouri since the rebellion. 
The prisoners were all sent to Missouri and 
placed in the hands of the proper authorities. 
Nine contraband horses, with their equip- 
ments,'* were captured by the militia and sold. 
The belief was very prevalent that 'Marge num- 
bers of rebels'' were *' quietly wintering in 


Iowa with a view of recruiting their horses and 
recuperating themselves preparatory to a con- 
centration at some point in the spring. "^^ The 
people along the southern border of Iowa were 
urged to be on the alert and to question all 
strangers whom they met. Every loyal man 
was advised to have at least one revolver in 
addition to the arms furnished by the State and 
to carry this with him at all times ready for 
immediate use. 


A Eepublican Leader 


Colonel Weaver's military record gave him a 
position of leadership in Davis County and 
southern Iowa which entitled him to consider- 
ation in the councils of the Eepublican party of 
the State. The party that had carried the war 
through to a successful conclusion occupied a 
peculiarly strong place in the support of the 
people, while the Democracy was weakened by 
its connection with slavery and disunion. In 
1865 the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye declared 
that ^'the vastly preponderant sentiment of the 
soldier is with the Eepublican ticket .... 
Oovernor Stone is sure of an overwhelming 
majority. His associates on the State ticket 
are destined to win; and the Legislature will 
hardly have a copperhead in it to represent a 
miserable band of plotters and traitors. '^ The 
same paper a few months later described **the 
military element in the Legislature ' ' as ^Wery 
strong. It is our opinion that fully one-half 
the members have served in the army.^'^^ The 
same conditions that produced a line of soldier 
Presidents after the war opened official posi- 



tions all over the country to the men who had 
served in the army. 

General Weaver ^s own ability and interest in 
politics, which had developed before the out- 
break of the war, inclined him to take advan- 
tage of the favorable situation. Within about 
a year after his return to civil life he was a 
candidate for nomination as Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor before the Republican Convention, stand- 
ing second in the number of votes received on 
the first ballot. Benjamin F. Gue was the suc- 
cessful candidate for the nomination. Out of a 
total of nearly 900 delegates Gue had the sup- 
port of over 500, Weaver came next with from 
250 to 255, George W. McCrary received 80, 
and another candidate recorded 32. Upon a mo- 
tion made by Weaver and seconded by McCrary, 
the nomination of Gue was made unanimous. ^"^ 

After the election in October it appears that 
Weaver sent a letter to the Burlington Weekly 
Hawh-Eye enthusiastically expressing his in- 
terest in the victory of the Republican party. 
The letter ran as follows: "Dear ^Hawk-Eye'. 
— Davis county is thoroughly redeemed : 150 to 
200 majority for the whole union ticket, both 

State and County. Who can do better than 

this r' ^8 

The next year Weaver's activity is recorded 
in his signature to the call for a convention in 
the first Congressional district as a member of 


the committee representing Davis County.^^ 
At the October election he was the successful 
candidate for district attorney in the second 
judicial district which was then made up of 
Davis, Appanoose, Wapello, Monroe, Van 
Buren, and Wayne counties. The election was 
for four years.^*^ Soon after the election he 
sent letters to the Burlington Weekly Hawk- 
Eye and the Gate City of Keokuk. He called 
the attention of the Hawk-Eye to the fact that 
Davis County gave ^* J. F. Wilson 300 majority 
over Fitz Henry Warren, Preacher to Guate- 
mala — State and county ticket from 250 to 
280. Who has done better! You will see that 
we have doubled our last year's majority. '^ In 
his letter to the Gate City he wrote: ^^The 
Copperheads refused to vote for Warren be- 
cause they heard he was Minister to Guatemala. 
* Preachers,' they say, ^should not meddle in 
politics.' Fatal for Warren. "^^ 

In 1867 General Weaver was appointed by 
President Johnson to the office of assessor of 
internal revenue for the first district of Iowa, 
in which he served the government for six 
years — or until the office was abolished by an 
act of Congress in 1872 providing for the abo- 
lition of the offices of assessor and assistant 
assessor on or before June 30, 1873. Previously 
there had been a collector and assessor in each 
collection district. These districts were estab- 


lished by the President and could not exceed in 
number in any State the number of its repre- 
sentatives in Congress. The assessor divided 
his district into a convenient number of assess- 
ment districts, in each of which an assistant 
assessor was appointed by the Secretary of the 
Treasury upon the nomination of the assessor. 
After 1873 the duties of the assessors devolved 
upon the collectors, and the new system proved 
more efficient and economical.^'- 

General Weaver ^s ability as a public speaker 
was forcibly described in the Burlington 
Weekly Eawh-Eye in 1871. In September he 
had addressed a Republican meeting at Bur- 
lington where, according to the account, ^^he 
spoke for an hour and a quarter, comparing the 
platforms of the two parties in this State, con- 
trasting the histories, the purposes, and the 
principles of the two parties in the country, and 
advocating the reasonableness of the claim of 
the Republican party for a continuance of its 
beneficent rule and the absurdity of Demo- 
cratic pretensions. This portraiture in both 
cases was striking, and his reference to the 
deeds of the Republican party and the develop- 
ment of its great central ideas of liberty and 
progress were eloquent and thrilling, and 
stirred the blood of his hearers into repeated 
outbursts of applause. 

'^Gen. Weaver was listened to with close 


attention, and made an excellent impression 
upon those who heard him. We have not room 
for a complete synopsis even of his speech, but 
must content ourselves with this general ref- 
erence to it, and in advising all our readers to 
improve the first opportunity they have to 

listen to this able defender of the Eepublican 
faith. '^«3 

By the year 1872, if not earlier. General 
Weaver had come to be regarded as a prospec- 
tive Congressman to represent the first district 
following Wilson and McCrary, and later the 
sixth district when Davis County had been set 
off from its old connections. In 1872 he was 
one of the presidential electors, representing 
the sixth district.^* 

It was in 1874 that General Weaver came 
within one vote of receiving the nomination for 
Congressman in the sixth district. On the in- 
formal ballot he had thirty-two votes to his 
principal opponent's twenty-four — two other 
candidates receiving eleven votes. On the first 
formal ballot the two leading candidates had 
thirty-two and twenty-six votes respectively 
and one other candidate had eight. But on the 
second formal and final ballot Weaver received 
thirty-three votes, while his successful oppo- 
nent. Judge E. S. Sampson, had thirty-four 

Weaver had been regarded as the probable 


nominee and there were many charges made 
both by Eepublicans and Democrats that he 
was defeated by unfair means. One delegate 
was reported to have desired to change his 
vote before the final ballot, but the chairman of 
his delegation refused to announce it. The 
friends of Weaver were so aroused that they 
sent a committee to Sampson to urge him not 
to accept the nomination, while at the same time 
his opponents sent a committee to the candi- 
date to urge his acceptance. The convention 
was held at Ottumwa and Judge Sampson was 
holding court at Fairfield. Both committees 
started from Ottumwa on the evening train to 
interview the candidate. One of the members 
of the committee, disappointed by Weaver's 
defeat, telegraphed Sampson not to accept the 
nomination till he saw the committee. Both 
committees conferred with the candidate, who 
took the matter under advisement and a few 
days later announced his acceptance. ^^ 

The Iowa State Register in referring to the 
nomination of Sampson declared that ^'no bet- 
ter selection could possibly have been made, 
unless, indeed. General Weaver had been 
chosen, and that would have been a choice un- 
doubtedly as good, but perhaps no better. 
General Weaver gave Judge Sampson close and 
gallant contest, and lost the prize by only one 
vote. That the General did not succeed will be 


regretted by thousands and tens of thousands 
of his devoted friends and admirers in all parts 
of the State. Outside of the District, the feel- 
ing was largely and warmly in his favor, and it 
was generally supposed that there was little 
doubt of his success. It would have pleased us 
to chronicle here his nomination. '^^^ 

The Bloomfield Democrat declared that ^Hhe 
nomination was secured by such trickery that 
numbers of the Republicans refuse to support 
the ticket'^, and that many Republicans ^^ be- 
lieved, and justly too, that Weaver had been 
most villainously cheated out of a nomination. ' ^ 
Later this paper described the nomination as 
coming to Sampson ^'by the meanest kind of 
wire pulling, by political chicanery, and by the 
use of dishonorable transactions.^' Another 
editorial in the same paper stated that recently 
Sampson had ^^ assured Gen. Weaver himself, 
while the twain were riding in a railroad coach, 
together, that he (Sampson) would not in any 
manner stand in the way of the other's aspira- 
tions. We have received this information from 
Republican sources, and have every reason to 
believe it authentic .... Weaver is hon- 
estly entitled to the nomination. Thru scul- 
duggery Sampson was boosted ahead of him.'' 

Again a week later the Bloomfield Democrat, 
commenting upon a statement that ^Svhat de- 
feated Weaver .... was the same thing 


that defeated Harlan, the Methodist Church' \ 
declared that ^^the people have concluded that 
the Methodist Church cannot run this country. 
This is only an excuse ; the true reason was that 
Weaver would not pledge himself to continue 
the present set of Federal officials in their com- 
fortable quarters, if he should be elected. He 
didn't propose to go into the race handicapped 
with Warden and Hedrick and Hamilton; so 
these worthies and the rest of the ring pro- 
ceeded to slaughter him and place the nomina- 
tion where it would do good. The Methodist 
Church may do for a scape-goat, but the true 
reason for Weaver's defeat is the one we have 
given above. "^^ 

Apparently Weaver was regarded as the 
logical nominee in the sixth district in 1874. 
His personal strength is shown by the fact that 
he later carried the district three times as an 
independent candidate. Clearly there was dis- 
tinct and interested opposition to him. His 
ability and independence explain this opposi- 
tion as satisfactorily as it can be accounted for 
by a study of contemporary political conditions. 
The opposition in the Republican party to able 
and fearless leadership that has defeated it 
from time to time was already gathering 
strength in 1874. It was to be one of the fac- 
tors in driving Weaver out of the party a few 
years later. 


In 1875 General Weaver was the leading 
candidate for the nomination as Governor be- 
fore the Republican State Convention. He 
made a vigorous campaign and won a majority 
of the delegates. The opposing candidates 
were John Russell, John H. Gear, Robert 
Smythe, and W. B. Fairfield. Weaver had 
aligned himself fearlessly ^^with the elements 
which were demanding the vigorous control or 
entire suppression of the saloons, and the public 
control of the railways and other semi-public 
corporations.'' When his opponents found that 
**he was going to be nominated, unless some 
strong new feature or issue, or some new and 
stronger man, could be introduced on the scene, 
there was much of canvassing all night long the 
night before the Convention met, to devise a 
winning plan and accomplish Weaver's over- 
throw. ' ' 

His most active opponents were **the liquor 
or saloon people". The corporation repre- 
sentatives ^^were also nearly all opposed to 
him, but not nearly so earnestly nor so unan- 
imously as the saloon element." Various pro- 
posals were considered, among them one to 
nominate General G. M. Dodge; but it was 
known that he would not accept because he did 
not want the office and because of his friendship 
for General Weaver. After canvassing this 
possibility *Hhe saloon people began to turn to 


Kirkwood, and yet morning came without any 
regular programme having been reached to 
present his name or to work the stampede from 
Weaver. ''^^ 

The convention met in Des Moines on June 
30th at Moore's Opera House, ^^with the house 
so crowded that several of the delegations had to 
be seated on the stage. There w^as much gossip 
and speculation among the delegates as to what 
was to be done, and the whole Convention was 
plainly nervous and expectant of something 
sensational going to happen. There was no 
chosen leader to take charge of the Kirkwood 
boom, or to openly antagonize the Weaver 

Senator Frank T. Campbell nominated Gen- 
eral Weaver; and then in turn John Russell of 
Jones County, John H. Gear of Des Moines 
County, Eobert Smythe of Linn County, and 
W. B. Fairfield of Floyd County were named. 
At this point in the proceedings Dr. S. M. 
Ballard arose to nominate Ex-Governor Kirk- 
wood; and General Trumbull of Dubuque in- 
quired if he had authority to present the name. 
Dr. Ballard, *'a veteran white haired Repub- 
lican of imposing form", replied: '^I have the 
authority of the great Republican party of 
Iowa". This statement was greeted with tre- 
mendous cheering, and Russell and Gear imme- 
diately withdrew their names, declaring they 


would not oppose the ^^Old War Governor '\ 
Senator Campbell asked if friends of Kirkwood 
had not received a dispatch from him saying 
that he was not a candidate. This inquiry was 
replied to by cries that it made no difference. 
Dr. Ballard moved to nominate by acclamation, 
but the motion was opposed and withdrawn. 
An informal ballot was taken and resulted in 
the casting of 268 votes for Kirkwood, 200 for 
Weaver, 111 for Smythe, and 33 for Fairfield; 
a total of 612 making 307 necessary for a choice. 
A formal ballot was next taken, but before the 
vote was counted, delegations began to change 
to Kirkwood, whereupon Captain John A. T. 
Hull, of Davis County, moved to make the nom- 
ination unanimous, an action that was greeted 
^^with thundering applause. '^^^ 

The stampede of the convention away from 
Weaver so greatly desired by the anti-prohi- 
bition and pro-corporation delegates had been 
accomplished; but the result was probably 
brought about by ^'instantly utilizing a way 
opened to them in a time of great need" and 
not by originating the movement. ^^The Con- 
vention in its highly wrought condition and 
excitement was hypnotized, as so many large 
popular bodies frequently are, and enough of 
General Weaver's delegates were swept off 
their feet and carried along by the storm to 
furnish the votes needed to make a majority 


for Kirkwood .... Before the next day 
had come, and the spell was over, many of those 
who had helped to do it, deeply regretted it, 
and would have undone it if they could. ' ' 

A combination of circumstances in connec- 
tion with the adroit use of the name of the 
* ^ War Governor ' ' without his knowledge, swept 
the nomination that '^General Weaver had so 
ardently coveted, and had so clearly and hon- 
estly won .... out of his hands and his 
whole course in life [was thereby] changed.'' 

After General Weaver's death in 1912 James 
S. Clarkson, long the editor of The Iowa State 
Register and prominent in the Republican 
party of the State, recorded his recollection 
and judgment of the convention of 1875. He 
felt at the time, and had felt ever since that 
Weaver ^^was treated unjustly .... and 
given ample provocation for the course that he 
afterwards took. I have always believed, too, 
that the unjust action of that Convention 
caused in the end as much of loss to the Repub- 
lican party as it did to General Weaver. For 
at that time he was already one of the two or 
three strongest men in mental force, debating 
power and popular influence in the Republican 
party in Iowa; and if he had been given the 
nomination for Governor then, for which he 
had an unquestionable majority of the dele- 
gates when the Convention met, he would have 


been elected, would have made a strong and 
popular Governor, and would almost surely 
have been afterwards elected United States 
Senator and would have made such a great 
career in the Senate, as a parliamentary leader 
and debater as to have added greatly even to 
the great power and renown which Iowa, 
through its unusually able men in Congress 
between 1861 and until about 1908 enjoyed — a 
renown and a power which were equalled by no 
other delegation in Congress except that of the 
State of Maine/' 

Mr. Clarkson believed that General Weaver 
was compelled to leave the Republican party 
*^in vindication of his self-respect '\ He never 
blamed him **for the course that he took''; and 
*^in the inner circles of the Republican party, 
and among fair men everywhere, this view was 
taken. It was a most serious sacrifice to him, 
for he had a nature which prized and treasured 
personal friendships as being really the sweeter 
things in human life, and the most of his friend- 
ships were among the Republicans. His orig- 
inal aspirations were all within the party of his 
first choice. His illustrious career as a soldier, 
and the devotion to him of all Union soldiers 
but added to this. At different times and in 
different ways, but of course always without 
publicity, many of us in the Republican party 
sought to open the way for the self-respecting 


return of the General to the party. But the 
right way could never be opened; and besides 
the General once he had entered upon his new 
career of fighting the Republican party, because 
of its growing tendency no longer to keep hu- 
man rights and human interests above all 
property rights and property interests, felt 
that it was his duty to stay at the new post in 
the new field/' 

In concluding his tribute, Mr. Clarkson de- 
clared that it was ^^to the eternal credit of 
General Weaver that the main motives and de- 
sires of his life always were to serve his fellow 
man. Generously endowed by nature, in both 
mental and physical force, he could easily have 
won fortune and success in several fields. 
. . when the call of duty came, however, and 
he became convinced that the government was 
drifting into the control of the special interests 
and the privileged classes, and from Lincoln's 
ideal of a ^government of the people, by the 
people, for the people,' he did not hesitate to 
make the sacrifice and give up all his personal 
ambitions and go to the defence of the x^eople. 
Then he became one of the forerunners, and I 
think the greatest of them all, in the great pop- 
ular movement to resist this tendency to make 
our Republic a government of money, by money, 
for money, and not of men, which is now nation- 
wide, and so valiantly led by Roosevelt and 


other gallant spirits following on these higher 
paths where Weaver led. Millions of fair men 
who opposed the General then, and honestly 
thought him visionary or seeking personal 
power and renown through new and untenable 
issues, find it a pleasing duty to themselves to 
do him justice now. ''^^ 

The evening session of the Eepublican con- 
vention that nominated Kirkwood as Governor 
in 1875 completed the State ticket and adopted 
a platform. A spirited discussion was carried on 
in regard to temperance, the currencj^, Southern 
questions, and a third term for the President 
of the United States. The chief controversy, 
however, was waged about prohibition, to 
which the platform as reported by the com- 
mittee on resolutions made no reference. By 
a delegate from Keokuk a resolution was pro- 
posed for which General Weaver immediately 
offered a substitute, declaring that ^ ' the Repub- 
lican party of Iowa is opposed to the repeal of 
the prohibitory liquor law of this State, and 
will stand by its record on that question. *' A 
motion w^as then made and adopted to refer 
both proposals to the committee on resolutions 
with instructions to report *' forthwith ' \ 

A little later the committee brought in a sub- 
stitute of its own to the effect that ilTwas the 
duty and right of the State ^Ho provide such 
legislation upon the subject of the liquor traffic 


as will best protect society from tlie evils of 
intemperance.'' Colonel Henderson proposed 
to leave the matter to the General Assembly 
and to the people. Attention then was given to 
General Weaver's substitute. Mr. Potter of 
Scott County protested against its adoption, 
since it would drive 20,000 Republicans out of 
the party; and he urged the reference of the 
question to the people. In reply General 
Weaver said that 40,000 Republicans would 
leave the party if the platform did not confirm 
the record of the party. *^I warn you not to 
defy the temperance sentiment in the Repub- 
lican party". Potter replied with a warning 
against crippling the Republican party by 
adopting the prohibition test, and he was sup- 
ported by another delegate from Scott County. 
Judge Nourse spoke in favor of honesty in the 
platform. He opposed the committee's resolu- 
tion for it meant nothing; ^Hhe resolution of 
Gen. Weaver" was ^^the only one" that had 
**any ring to it." Delegates from Floyd and 
Dubuque counties favored temperance, but ob- 
jected to crowding it down the throats of those 
opposed to it. Finally, ^Hhe resolution and all 
its amendments were laid upon the table — the 
vote on both sides being heavy and strong, but 
the majority clearly and largely with the 

The attitude of opponents of prohibition on 


the position taken by General Weaver is clearly 
illustrated by editorials which appeared in the 
Bloomfield Democrat. One editorial declared 
that **when Gen. Weaver comes to be nomi- 
nated for the State Senate next fall, the nat- 
uralized citizens of this county will remember 
that he said .... ^The time has come 
for American civilization to assert itself against 
European dictation.' Properly interpreted, 
this means that a foreign born citizen has no 
right to drink a glass of beer against the pro- 
tests of a native American cold-waterite. The 
Gen. may yet have cause to regret this enunci- 
ation of know-nothing sentiments. ' ' 

Another editorial in the same number of the 
same paper, referred to General Weaver in 
connection with a comment of the State Leader, 
which said that '4t is time we hear from Gen- 
eral Weaver of Davis county. If Kirkwood is 
for license how can General Weaver support 
him in the face of his speech made in the state 
convention r '"^2 

Late in August of the same year General 
Weaver was nominated for State Senator from 
Davis County by acclamation. After the other 
candidates had been named, ''Weaver was 
vociferously called for''; whereupon he arose 
and spoke as follows : 

Gentlemen of the Convention : I thank you for the 
nomination you have to-day given me. I assure you 


that it is appreciated on my part, because it came 
from those with whom I have lived from my child- 
hood, and for the further reason that it w^as entirely 
unsolicited on my part. No member of this Conven- 
tion can say that I have asked directl}^ or indirectly, 
for this nomination. I have lived among you 33 
years, and this is the first time that my name has 
been before a Convention in this county. I wish to 
remark right here, that as you have taken the respon- 
sibility of nominating me to-day, upon you will rest 
the responsibility of electing me ; but while I lay upon 
you this responsibility, I shall, at the same time do 
everything in my power, during the canvas to secure 
my election, and the election of the whole ticket. We 
must have no scratching at this election, if we can 
help it. Let us by united work secure a triumph in 
Davis county this fall. The people of this county, 
Democrats, alike with Republicans, have a common 
interest, in securing good officials and good govern- 
ment. I promise you, gentlemen, if elected, to do the 
very best I can for the interests of this country. 
There is one thing, however, which I wish clearly 
understood — one thing that I intend to live and die 
by — I am a prohibitionist. 

^^ Under cover of the applause which greeted 
this declaration, the Gen. retreated, to give way 
to Power [the nominee for Representative], 
who said that he was not a speech making man, 
but that he endorsed the principles advanced 
by Weaver, and would represent the principles 
of the party, this winter, if elected. "^^ 


The campaign opened immediately. Accord- 
ing to the Bloom field Democrat, which referred 
to the Kepublican convention as '^HulPs Con- 
vention", the ^'Ring Ticket was nominated", 
and the ^^Bloomfield Clique have it their own 
way". A meeting at Pulaski on September 20th, 
at which the Democratic candidates began their 
canvass, was attended by fully as large a 
crowd '*as the one addressed by General 
Weaver, the week before." Senator H. A. 
Wonn, who was a candidate for reelection, 
replied to Weaver's questions as to his course 
in the State Senate. He showed that 'instead 
of voting * first, last, and all the time' for the 
railroads, as had been charged by Weaver, he 
gave repeated votes for measures which were 
intended to curtail the power of those corpora- 
tions. Mr. Hotchkiss [candidate for Eepre- 
sentative] followed in a reply to Weaver's 
speech, and made a very telling argument 
against the position taken by the would-be Sen- 
ator. Weaver's statement on the currency 
question was shown up by quotations from the 
decisions of the Supreme Court." A crowd of 
Republicans led by Hull, the county chairman, 
were described as conducting ^'themselves in a 
boisterous and sacreligious manner in the 
church. When Gen. AVeaver spoke he had the 
consideration to ask that no demonstrations of 
that character be made."^^ 


Early in October the same paper contained 
comments upon the campaign to the effect that 
** Weaver goes about the county saying that 
under the operation of the present railroad law 
the people of Iowa have saved a million of 
dollars in the past year". It also was stated 
that ^^Wonn, in the Senate, voted for a substi- 
tute to the present railroad law, which provided 
that railroads should charge only reasonable 
fare; yet the Republican charges that he voted 
in the interests of the railroads. ""^^ 

After the election the Democrat declared that 
^* Weaver stepped into nomination for Senator 
at the County Convention, by acclamation, but 
stepped out by one hundred and thirty-nine 
majority in ballots.'' Another editorial in the 
same paper reminded its readers that they must 
not forget their ^^ allies, the Liberal Repub- 
licans and Anti-Monopolists who stood shoulder 
to shoulder with us ... . Along with 
these allies of the Democracy we wish to thank 
those Republicans who had no stomach for ring 
rule and clique dictation, and aided our cause 
with their votes. ""^^ 

A week later the Democrat described the 
election as ^Hhe best fight the Democracy of 
Davis county ever made within our recollection 
, . . . The strongest man the Republicans 
could select as their leader. Gen. Weaver, con- 
ducted the most thorough canvas ever made 


here, and was defeated. Preponderance of 
votes did the work .... Every available 
vote in the county was in the ballot boxes. '^'^'^ 

Still another reference in the same paper de- 
scribed ^'the gubernatorial election '' in Davis 
County as ^*a mere matter of form, an event of 
no moment. The grand center of attraction 
was Weaver. Weaver was the perfect embodi- 
ment of radical Kepublicanism, and radical 
Eepublicanism loved and caressed, petted and 
worshiped the General; but dear friends, all 
sublunary things are uncertain. — Fortune is a 
fickle Goddess. Weep no more, dear friends; 
the way is yet open; the Democracy are mag- 
nanimous in time of victory; so throw away 
your broken sticks, abandon your false idols 
and ye shall be received with outstretched arms 
of welcome ''."^^ 

The attitude of the Eepublican papers was 
reflected in the statement that Weaver ^'has the 
entire Eepublican press of the State to aid in 
salving his political wounds ' \ 

One paper was quoted as saying that the 
'* defeat of no man in the State will be more 
generally regretted than that of General 
Weaver .... he could and will wield 
more Real influence in the State Senate, than 
fifty like the gentleman who has defeated him 
. . . . the people of Davis county .... 
will regret their unwise act in defeating the 


man who could do more in the Legislature than 
any other man in their midst. "'^ 

General Weaver's defeat for the nominations 
for Congressman in 1874, for Governor in 1875, 
and in the campaign for the State Senate 
showed conclusively that there was some strong 
influence in the State opposed to his advance- 
ment. At the same time it is equally clear that 
he was regarded by the rank and file of his 
party as an able and conscientious leader. His 
military career had been highly creditable, and 
he was popular with the men who had served in 
the army. Apparently he had the qualities, 
and the conditions in general were favorable to 
his success. The key to the situation seems to 
be found in his views on temperance — views 
w^hich created a solid and unyielding opposition 
and prevented his further advancement in the 

So notable was the succession of defeats that 
the Burlington Hawh-Eye, a Eepublican paper, 
asked the question in November, 1875, whether 
Weaver was to be forced to leave the party. 
It referred to him as *^ really too good a man 
to be thus driven about from one end of the 
ring to the other.'' The Henry County Free 
Press was quoted as ^' aptly" saying that ^4f 
there is one man in the State of Iowa who is 
justified .... in becoming a * sorehead', 
that man is Gen. Weaver." Eecent political 


history was reviewed to show that before 1874 
he had been successfully side-tracked for nomi- 
nations that he had good reasons to assume 
were coming to him. He was regarded as the 
prospective successor to Wilson and McCrary 
in the first district, but Gear who wanted to be 
Congressman used his legislative influence to 
throw him into the sixth. Later he was de- 
feated for the nomination from that district by 
Loughridge and Sampson. Again, in the State 
convention in 1875 ^'Gear and Kirkwood 
double-teamed against him, and though he led 
on the first ballot, he lost the prize. "^^ 

In spite of these repeated disappointments 
there were no immediate indications that Gen- 
eral Weaver seriously considered leaving the 
Eepublican party. In January, 1876, he was 
described as ^4n Des Moines, one of Harlan's 
chief Lieutenants, foremost among the workers 
at the Harlan headquarters", and doing all 
that he could to make him again United States 

In July The Iowa State Register printed a 
card from Weaver in regard to his candidacy 
for Congress in the sixth district against Judge 
Sampson. He wrote that he had ^'always con- 
ceded the Judge's right to a second nomination, 
if his course in Congress was satisfactory to his 
constituents. And I now concede his right, 
under the two term rule to the nomination, if. 


in his opposition to the repeal of the Resump- 
tion Act, and in his opposition to making silver 
coin a legal tender for all sums, he expresses 
the will of the Republican voters of this Dis- 
trict. With one exception I have neither talked 
nor written to a single delegate concerning this 
matter, and then only in reply to a letter re- 
ceived from him. Please do me [the] justice to 
publish this letter". Another item in the same 
number of the same paper called attention to 
the card and declared that the writer ^^had no 
idea that he [Weaver] entertained any notion 
of being a candidate until the 10th inst., though, 
as w^e learned, his friends had then been work- 
ing in his interest for some weeks. "^^ 

About the same time a number of citizens of 
Appanoose County wrote to him asking his 
opinion on ^Hhe resumption question and other 
financial matters. His reply was frank and 
manly as his answers always are". The cor- 
respondence, which was published at the time, 
developed more fully the general ideas pre- 
sented in his card sent to The Iowa State Reg- 
ister. He described the Resumption Act as ^^a 
violation of all the natural laws of trade" and 
as ^^a costly experiment to the whole country 
. . . . It is causing daily, fearful and rapid 
contraction of the currency, which was barely 
adequate to the business interests of the coun- 
try before contraction began .... The 


idea that we will be ready in 1879, to commence 
business in this country upon an exclusively 
gold basis .... is a proposition too ab- 
surd to be entitled to any but mirthful con- 
sideration. ' ' 

He referred to the declaration of the Repub- 
lican State convention of 1874 for a '^policy of 
specie resumption at such a time as is consistent 
with the material and industrial interests of the 
country, to the end that the volume of currency 
may be regulated by the natural laws of trade. ' ' 
He called attention to the fact that the last Con- 
gressional convention of the sixth district 
endorsed this policy and added a statement in 
favor of ** regulating the issue of currency so 
as to promote a return to specie payment with- 
out producing a derangement of business." 
Expressing the opinion that these declarations 
represented **the uniform doctrine of the Re- 
publican party in Iowa for years" and that 
there was nothing in them ^inconsistent with 
the National Republican Platform ' % he added a 
brief comment upon the silver legislation of 
Congress, which he described as ^'a crime 
against Providence, and the common sense of 
the age. This is in keeping with the plan of the 
eastern gold jobbers, of both parties, to bring 
the west to their feet as suppliants when the 
crash shall come."^^ 

Again, in September there was what The 


Iowa State Register called a '^laconic cor- 
respondence" between General Weaver and the 
Greenback Congressional convention in the sixth 
district. Porte C. Welch telegraphed from 
Oskaloosa to General Weaver as follows : ^^ Will 
you accept the Congressional nomination on the 
Indianapolis platform, waiving choice for Pres- 
ident f To this inquiry General Weaver 
replied: ^'No, I am for Hayes and Wheeler, 
Silver and Greenbacks". In reply came the 
question whether he would ^'accept the nomi- 
nation on the Indianapolis platform and vote 
for Hayes if you want to?" To this telegram 
signed *^ Moore and Ballard", he sent the 
answer ^^No".^^ 

Evidently during 1876 Weaver had no idea 
of leaving the Republican party. A receptive 
candidate for a Republican nomination to Con- 
gress, he abruptly declined to consider a Green- 
back nomination. His opinions in regard to 
the currency seemed to him consistent with his 
continued membership in the Republican party. 
He closed the campaign of that year with a big 
speech at Bloomfield the night before the elec- 
tion. As one of his admirers later expressed 
it, he was then ^^a red-hot Republican ".^^ 

In 1877 he was mentioned as among the 
strong men in the field for the nomination for 
Governor against John H. Gear, who was re- 
garded by some Republicans as almost sure to 


be nominated by acclamation. Yet there are no 
indications that Weaver was as keenly inter- 
ested as in 1875. He attended the State con- 
vention and was one of the vice-presidents. 
Mr. Gear was nominated upon the first formal 

General Weaver was ** entirely satisfied'' 
with the position taken by the Republicans upon 
the temperance question, and he so declared 
himself in a letter to The Iowa State Register. 
He referred to his '^well known'' opposition to 
the nomination of Mr. Gear, and said that he 
would support him ^* unreservedly", and that 
he had faith that he would ''do nothing to 
undermine the expressed will of his party." 
He urged the temperance people to ''move up 
their forces and occupy the vantage ground 
already conquered. Consolidate your forces by 
letting the world know that you intend to he 
reasonable.'' He did not regard the action of 
the convention as "a compromise between Mr. 
Gear's supporters and the temperance men", 
but as "an independent, honest and bold enun- 
ciation, introduced and supported by men who 
were opposing Mr. Gear's nomination. "^"^ 

The letter in which General Weaver ex- 
pressed himself satisfied with the position of 
the Republican party upon prohibition and in 
which he declared his intention of supporting 
Mr. Gear was dated at Bloomfield, July 11, 


1877. From the same place he wrote Mr. Gear 
on August 29th the following letter: 

Differing, as I do, so widely with the Republican 
party upon questions of finance, I find it impossible 
for me to go before the people and advocate a contin- 
uance of that policy. Neither do I feel that it would 
be right for me to remain silent and withhold my 
protest against what I conceive to be a gigantic 
wrong. I wish, therefore, to be released by you from 
my pledge of personal support, assuring you, sin- 
cerely, that my action is not dictated by considera- 
tions personal to yourself. I shall act with the Inde- 

Two days later Mr. Gear replied from Bur- 
lington as follows : 

Yours of 29th at hand. You ask me to release you 
from your '^pledge of personal support". Your 
offer of support was of your own free will and accord 
— I accepted it as frankly as it was offered and am 
free to say that I was gratified by your offer. 

I release you from your promise but regret — not 
on personal grounds — that you see it to be your 
duty to leave the republican party in which you have 
done such loyal service to train in other camps. The 
republican party has done much for the country and 
this is ample evidence to me that it can in the future 
do better by the country than can the '^Independents" 
or any other party organized on what seems to me to 
be a false basis.^^ 

General Weaver's final break with the Re- 


publican party, with which he had been identi- 
fied almost from its birth, and in which he had 
attained a position of leadership, was a dra- 
matic event fraught with results little under- 
stood at the time and for many years there- 
after. His own political experience had 
brought home to him the fact that the Repub- 
lican party had ceased to be one of high ideals, 
whose interests were primarily for the people. 
Partisanship, office-seeking, and corruption had 
replaced the self sacrifice and devotion of 
earlier years. Especially was it true that cor- 
poration and financial interests seemed to be 
more and more in evidence. The fight for pro- 
hibition had apparently been largely won when 
the party adopted the policy officially in its 
platform of 1877, and Weaver himself seems to 
have been satisfied for he urged the extremists 
to be reasonable. 

He had been giving careful attention and 
study to currency and financial x^roblems for 
several years. These questions had attracted 
popular interest through the fall in the price of 
silver and because of the controversies over the 
resumption of specie payments. The formation 
of a Greenback party in 1876 was the result of 
the failure of the two great parties to satisfy 
the demands of those who were opposed to the 
demonetization of silver, and who favored the 
continued use of greenbacks. Both Hayes and 


Tilden were known to be hostile to the views of 
the ^'Independents''. The distresses due to the 
effects of the business depression beginning in 
1873 and the difficulties involved in contraction 
were real reasons for a careful consideration of 
the monetary situation. Bankers and business 
men failed to grasp the needs of the situation. 
Political compromises combined with the in- 
creasing influence of corporations and financial 
interests gave rise to suspicions of officials and 
government. General Weaver's retirement 
from the Eepublican party and his alliance with 
the Greenbackers was only a conspicuous inci- 
dent in a period when many persons were taking- 
similar steps. The near approach to defeat of 
the Eepublicans in 1876 showed that the oppo- 
sition to that party was widespread and influ- 

In September and October, 1877, General 
Weaver took an active part in the State cam- 
paign upon the Greenback side. Of course he 
was fiercely assailed by the Eepublican press as 
a renegade, no opportunity being neglected to 
ridicule and denounce him. At Oskaloosa, on 
September 21st, he engaged in a joint debate 
with Marcellus E. Cutts, a Eepublican ''of 
great ability and a man of most extraordinary 
and brilliant talents. ' ' According to an account 
of the meeting in the Oskaloosa Herald, re- 
printed in The Iowa State Register, each 


speaker was to have half an hour and the whole 
debate was to consume three hours, thus giving 
each one of the debaters three opportunities to 
present his case. Cutts opened the discussion, 
and maintained his position with great success, 
while Weaver entirely failed to meet his telling 
points. His part was described as a complete 
failure, and he was advised ^^to skip Oskaloosa 
and — Cutts ' ', when he came that way again. 
Weaver's well known ability as a public speaker 
makes his reported collapse in this connection 
quite unlikely. 

In the same number of The Register there 
was printed a dispatch from General Weaver 
to the editor, dated September 25th, in which 
he referred to the statement that Cutts ''used'' 
him ''up" at Oskaloosa. His comment was, 
"Ask all the people of Oskaloosa outside of the 
Herald office as to the truth of that. Have 
Cutts do it again" in Des Moines on October 
6th. According to The Register Weaver was 
still "smarting under the argumentative bat- 
tering ram of Hon. M. E. Cutts at Oskaloosa, 
and he probably wouldn't have felt so bad if 
The Register had not sent the fact broadcast 
over the State." It should be noted that 
Weaver was the challenger for the second de- 
bate — an indication that he Avas not so com- 
pletely defeated as his former Eepublican 
friends would like to have it appear. 


The second debate at Des Moines, in the 
opinion of The Register, was also a ^^ failure '\ 
It was, however, ^^not all his own failure; it 
simply illustrated the utter fallacy and the 
complete weakness of the Greenback party . . 
. . With all proper candor, and with all due 
respect to Gen. Weaver, who is a most esti- 
mable gentleman and an able speaker, it is to be 
said that his portion of the debate .... 
was literally a continuous confession of the 
sophistries of his cause, and of his inability to 
meet argument with argument, and to match 
logic with logic. ' ' Reference was made to the 
packing of the hall with Greenbackers ' ^ to come 
to the relief of Weaver in case of distress, and 
by interruptions and questions to try to throw 
Cutts oif his line of argument and consume his 
time ' '. According to this report of the meeting 
all these efforts completely failed, and the 
victory of Cutts over Weaver and his sup- 
porters was overwhelming.^^ 

The accounts of the two contests between 
Cutts and Weaver are so plainly partisan and 
unfair to the latter that little dependence can 
be placed upon them. They represent the atti- 
tude of persons who had no sympathy with or 
understanding of Weaver ^s point of view. 
Their hostility was also increased by the bitter 
controversies aroused during the campaign — a 
campaign made more acrimonious by Weaver's 



recent defection. His prominence in the Re- 
publican party and his remarkable ability upon 
the platform made his loss more keenly felt. 
Hence his work for the Greenbackers was sys- 
tematically and persistently underrated and 
subjected to sarcasm and ridicule. 

As already suggested, Weaver's unusual 
power as a public speaker makes it very un- 
likely that he failed to give a good account of 
himself in these debates. At any rate, in the 
opinion of many persons who heard them, they 
were the sensation of the year, and General 
Weaver was regarded as having the advantage. 
Cutts was a master in ^^ sardonic ridicule and 
irritating invective '', and the contest between 
him and Weaver was a battle of wits con- 
ducted with great ability. So many people 
would not have remembered them and the great 
attention which they attracted had they been as 
one-sided as partisan Republican accounts 
would have us believe.^^ Certainly the lapse of 
time would not have transformed the van- 
quished into the victor. Weaver was a pioneer 
and his position was beyond the comprehension 
of those who saw only the partisan aspects of 
the situation. They could not conceive of any 
other motives than those with which they were 
familiar. Their only weapons were ridicule and 

After his election to Congress in 1878 General 


Weaver devoted himself largely to public af- 
fairs : his time in the public service was limited, 
but he was constantly in demand as a public 
speaker and he was active in every political 
campaign. Consequently, his career as a law- 
yer was subordinated to his public activities. 
Before 1878, and after his return from military 
service in 1864, his work as a lawyer seems to 
have been ^^ rather notable". From 1866 to 
1870 he was district attorney and therefore a 
party to every suit of importance during those 
years. Judge Eobert Sloan of Keosauqua, who 
was circuit judge in the district from 1869 to 
1880, recalls that Weaver had good success, and 
adds that ^'the lawyers opposing him .... 
in all the important cases, were of more than 
usual ability and very resourceful, and a vic- 
tory for the state, could only be won by arduous 
effort on his part. 

**As I remember'^, continues the Judge, '*he 
was regarded as an able prosecutor, but not a 
persecutor J and gave good satisfaction through- 
out the District. He was very courteous to 
opposing counsel and the Court, and quite suc- 
cessful in examining witnesses, and very able 
in argument of a case to the jury, and eloquent 
when the case was such as to justify it. In civil 
cases, he displayed the same qualities as in 
criminal cases. After the close of his term as 
District Attorney, he was engaged in practice 


in Bloomfield, but at the same time devoted 
much of his time and attention to politics and 
public speaking, in which he greatly excelled, 
and by reason thereof was not as close a stu- 
dent of the law as he would otherwise have 
been. Had he devoted himself to the law, there 
is no doubt in my mind that he would have be- 
come one of the leading lawyers of the state. 
He displayed excellent ability while he re- 
mained in the practice, and was entitled to high 
rank among the lawyers of the District of that 
day, and there was no better bar in the state 
than the bar of the Second Judicial District. ''^^ 


First Session in Congress 


The political situation in 1878 in Iowa and in 
the country as a whole was such as to put the 
Eepublican party in a position of defense. 
Inevitably some corruption had resulted from 
long continuance in power; and business de- 
pression had reacted upon it. No constructive 
currency legislation since the Civil War had 
been undertaken: not even the resumption of 
specie payments had been accomplished. There 
was intense opposition, especially in the West, 
to the proposed resumption for which the Re- 
publicans were responsible; inflationists de- 
manded a larger circulation, which was to be 
made up of silver or greenbacks. The admin- 
istration of President Hayes had given satis- 
faction neither to the politicians nor to the 

Under such conditions there seemed good 
reason to hope for the success of a coalition of 
Democrats and Independents. General Weaver 
had taken an active part in the campaign of 
1877 — which was a State campaign. The 



chief center of interest in 1878 was, of course, 
in the Congressional contests. There was con- 
siderable talk of the Democrats endorsing the 
Greenback nominees for Congress, and General 
Weaver was regarded as a candidate for the 
Democratic nomination in the sixth district.^^ 
The leading Greenbackers favored fusion with 
the Democrats, but there was a good deal of 
opposition to it in the rank and file of the party 
— especially among the editors of Greenback 

General Weaver seems to have been a con- 
sistent believer in fusion. Throughout his 
career, when conditions promised a measure of 
success, he favored the union of the forces of 
the opposition. The most conspicuous instance 
was in 1896 when he urged the union of Popu- 
lists and Democrats in support of Bryan. In 
part this attitude was prompted by his political 
intuition, and in part it was due to his dis- 
inclination to go to extremes. Thus as a prohi- 
bitionist he urged reasonableness in 1877. 
Acting on the theory that the surest progress 
was always gradual, he was constantly attacked 
by the extremists for his compromises with 
some branches of the opposition. 

Actual and effective fusion in 1878 was 
brought about in only two Congressional dis- 
tricts in Iowa — the sixth and seventh. In the 
former Weaver was elected over his old op- 


ponent, Sampson, by a vote of 16,366 to 14,308 ; 
in the latter, the Des Moines district, E. H. 
Gillette was elected by a vote of 16,474 over the 
Eepublican candidate who received 15,546 
votes. On the State ticket four Democratic 
candidates were withdrawn late in September 
and four Greenback candidates substituted; 
but this fusion arrangement was of little im- 
portance since it did not result in any successes 
at the polls. The significant victories in low^a 
in 1878 were those of Weaver and Gillette in 
the Congressional districts.^* 

As already noted. General Weaver had been 
a candidate for Congress in the sixth district 
for a number of years. Defeated in 1874 and 
1876 by Sampson for the Republican nomina- 
tion, he carried the district in 1878 by a plural- 
ity of over 2,000. The victory, coming as it did 
so soon after his change of parties, was a 
notable one. Undoubtedly it was facilitated 
somewhat by his personal record and the belief 
that he. had been unfairly treated in the past by 
his former party associates. At any rate his 
success was a personal endorsement of which 
he might well be proud. It indicated clearly his 
personal strength, and also showed that there 
was a very considerable support for the point 
of view in politics which he represented. 

The Republicans made a great deal of talk 
about what they called the ^* Corrupt Weaver 


Bargain" with the Democrats. They claimed 
that he had agreed to give up ^ * the platform he 
had helped to make at Toledo" and act with 
the Democrats in everything except finance. In 
return for these concessions the Democrats 
were to nominate no candidate for Congress in 
the sixth district, thus leaving their party mem- 
bers free to vote for General Weaver. It was 
said that he wanted a direct nomination by the 
Democrats, and was disappointed when he did 
not receive it. The bitter partisanship of the 
period makes it difficult to disentangle truth 
from falsehood. Undoubtedly there was some 
understanding in regard to joint action, since 
General Weaver was at the Democratic con- 
vention at Ottumwa and was invited to speak 
but declined because some of his Democrat 
friends and some of his Greenback associates 
thought he had better not do so.^-^ 

Judge H. H. Trimble, one of the Democratic 
leaders, in answer to a letter of inquiry in 
regard to Weaver, described him as having left 
the Republican party for good because he re- 
garded it '^as having sold out to the bond- 
holding and gold interests of the world, and as 
utterly abandoned to all popular interests and 
rights." He had not given up '^his convictions 
as to slavery and the war, but regards that as 
finally settled/' He was fully satisfied with 
Hayes's policy as to home rule in the South. 


Bargain*' with the Den Hx . , i^ , ™jd 

that he had agreed to v Ulie platform he 

had helped to mak »" and act with 

the Democrat cept finance. In 

return for * : the Democrats 

were to i > candidate for Congress in 

the sixth district, thus leav' r party mem- 

T3er8 free to vote for Geninai r. It was 

said that he wanted a direct n m by the 

ts, and was disappointed when he did 

eceive it. The bitter partisanship of the 

period makes it difficult to disentangle truth 

from^ehood. Undoubtedly there was some 

riding in regard to joint action, since 
ai Weaver was at the Democratic con- 
N ' i ijon at Ottumwa 'anii was' iiivifed to speak 
hut declined because some of his Democrat 
friends and some of his Greenback associates 
til ought he had better not do so.^^' 

Judge H. H. Trimble, one of tht- i >«Mfiocratic 
leaders, in answer to a letter of inquiry in 
regard to Weaver, described h wing left 

the 1 an party for good b< lie re- 

' having sold out u> ui<- bond- 

1 interests of the world, and as 
ui loned to all popular int( id 

riyli; 1 not given up **his convictions 

as to ^.ii. ■ ''^ " ' ". but regards that as 

finally ,9r fully satisfied with 

Hayes's policy . the South. 



If elected, runs the Trimble letter, General 
Weaver ^'expects to labor for a reform in 
finances, and will co-operate with such men, 
as believe with himself in regard to finances, 
and when he cannot find, on any given meas- 
ure, such men, will act with those who come 
nearest his views. He expects to co-operate 
with the Democrats as against the Republican 
organization, and will assist the Democrats in 
the organization of the House." He was a 
Democrat before the Civil War and had always 
been opposed to a protective tariff. 

'^He is not an extremist on currency," con- 
tinues the letter, ^^does not believe in unlimited 
inflation, and thinks we ought to have an in- 
crease of currency, either by full silver coinage 
or more greenbacks; is opposed to making the 
nation pay interest, directly or indirectly, on its 
currency, and is opposed to any policy looking 
to the creation of a perpetual debt."^** 

At the time of his first election to Congress 
in 1878 these views probably represent General 
Weaver's opinions stated in a conservative way 
to avoid unnecessary offense to possible sup- 
porters w^ho might differ in unessential mat- 
ters. The distinctive features of his views 
centered around finance. 

Two editorials in The Iowa State Register 
expressed the opinions of his former party 
associates in re£:ard to his election to Congress. 


The first described the election of General 
Weaver as *^not so objectionable as that of 
Gillette, for the General has far more to com- 
mend him personally, and much more to fit him 
for service in Congress, and is in every respect 
more a man of honor '\ A second editorial 
compared the results in Iowa and Maine, in 
each of which States two Republican Congress- 
men were lost, and pointed out the ^^ striking 
coincidence'^ that in both States ^'one of the 
two Greenbackers elected" was '^a man of good 
record and honor personally, and with the qual- 
ifications of integrity and capacity to fit him 
for Congress, like Weaver here — and the oth- 
er, Murch, like Gillette here .... an 
avowed Communist, a dishonest agitator' \^'^ 

Probably the extreme statements about Gil- 
lette were due to the fact that he had defeated 
the candidate of the party of which The loiva 
State Register was the official organ. The 
remarks about General Weaver represented the 
feelings of former party associates who had 
had ample occasion to observe his ability and 
qualifications. In addition, Gillette was a 
wealthy Easterner who had made his home for 
only a short time in Des Moines and could there- 
fore be regarded somewhat as an intruder. In 
any event General Weaver's opponents were 
compelled to admit his preeminent fitness for 
service in Congress. 


In December, 1878, a Greenback conference 
called by the State Committee met at Des 
Moines to discuss fusion with the Democrats. 
The conference lasted all day, and in the even- 
ing a public meeting was held at the Court 
House. There were a number of speakers, in- 
cluding General Weaver who declared that 
clubs must be formed in every township in Iowa 
for the next campaign: organization must be 
the motto. Opponents of fusion said only a 
few persons were invited who were known to 
favor fusion. The only reporter present repre- 
sented The State Leader, the official organ of 
the Democrats. A chairman of the State Com- 
mittee was chosen outside of the membership 
to get a man favorable to fusion. The con- 
ference was described **as a fraud, a cheat and 
a swindle ".^^ 

The Forty-sixth Congress was called in spe- 
cial session in March, 1879, because of the 
failure of the preceding Congress to pass the 
necessary appropriation bills — an outcome of 
the conflict between the executive and legisla- 
tive branches of the government over the Presi- 
dent's policy in regard to the South. As in the 
two preceding Congresses the Democrats had a 
majority in the lower House; there was also a 
small representation of Nationals or Green- 
backers, to which group General Weaver be- 
longed. The combined Kepublican and Green- 


back membership of the House was only 144, 
while the Democrats had 149 members; and so 
the organization of that body was effected 
without the aid of the Greenbackers,^^ who cast 
their votes for Hendrick B. Wright for Speak- 
er. James A. Garfield was the Republican 
candidate ; and Samuel J. Randall, the success- 
ful Democratic nominee. 

In the committee assignments General 
Weaver received appointments upon the com- 
mittee on elections and the committee on 
expenditures in the Treasury Department.^^^ 
It was evident from the first that his position 
in Congress must depend entirely upon his 
personality and ability unaided by party affili- 
ations and seriously handicapped by his con- 
nection with an independent or third party. A 
member of a minority of a minority had little 
chance for a display of his ability, and little 
hope of recognition upon his merits. 

General Weaver's first speech was made on 
April 4, 1879, in the debate in the committee of 
the w^hole upon the army appropriation bill with 
special reference to the use of Federal troops 
at elections in the South. The debate was a 
continuation of a controversy which had arisen 
in the preceding Congress and involved par- 
ticularly a discussion of the new policy in re- 
gard to the South. It had been the occasion 
for the failure of the last Congress to enact the 


usual appropriation bills. General Weaver's 
participation in the discussion enabled him to 
make plain his own position and that of the 
Greenback group upon this as well as upon 
other more or less connected subjects. 

By way of introduction Weaver declared 
that the people of the country had ^'witnessed 
for many years with painful impatience the 
continuation of ... . sectional strife." 
He then referred to the fact that ^^the same 
eternal broil ' ' had been kept up during the two 
preceding Congresses. ^^And now in this first 
and extraordinary session of the Forty-sixth 
Congress, when the people are confidently look- 
ing for substantial relief, the same old difficulty 
is again introduced and weeks of precious time 
are being wasted in the discussion. . . . 

'*! have changed my mind entirely as to the 
remedy necessary to drive away from the pol- 
itics of this country this disturber of our peace. 
I . . . . was a republican for twenty-one 
years. As soon as I obtained my majority 
almost I joined that party and fought in an 
humble way both at home and in the field to 
ingraft upon the laws of the country the meas- 
ures which I believed w^ere rightfully advanced 
by that organization. But in my opinion no 
remedy applied merely to the surface of this 
wound will give the people permanent peace. 
We must have constitutional treatment that 


will remove even the cause of the disease, and 
this makes it necessary to have a change of 
physicians. ' ' 

Congressman Weaver next expressed amaze- 
ment at the reference of a member of the House 
the day before **to the hereditary right of the 
democracy to rule'^ and the comparison of 
^'that party to the children of Israel in their 
wanderings from Egypt to the promised land 
. . . . Upon reflection I thought there 
might be some similarity, but I did not know 
but he had mistaken the army of Pharoah for 
that of Israel. Let us, however, notice the 
similarity between the children of Israel and 
the democratic party. The democracy have 
succeeded in getting their Joshua into the 
Senate and their Caleb into the House, but 
thousands of their carcasses have fallen in the 
wilderness on their way to the Canaan of their 
hopes. And I say to him and to the gentlemen 
on that side of the House that their Moses in 
1880 will die on Mount Nebo, especially if he 
should be a hard-money Moses. . . . The 
new Moses, if he represent sectional strife and 
the financial views which are now starving the 
people of this country, will perish also without 
realizing his exalted hope; but not because he 
struck the rock from which the water was to 
issue, but because he and his friends have 
joined hands across this aisle with the hard- 


money men on the republican side of the House 
to dry up the fountains of the prosperity of 
the people." 

^^Sir, gentlemen talk about revolution — the 
eloquent gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Garfield] 
did so on last Saturday in the most adroit and 
forcible manner. I say to this House that if by 
the continuation of sectional strife and the 
withholding of substantial relief you force the 
people to much longer *eat the bread of idle- 
ness', it will not be long before they will thirst 
for the ^wine of violence \ There is where the 
danger of revolution is to be looked for. It 
does not come from the defeated confederacy, 
it does not come from the gentlemen on my 
right, primarily; but it comes from the uneasy 
masses who are out of employment to-day, and 
out of food and destitute of raiment. It comes 
from those through whose enforced idleness the 
country is now losing more per diem than it 
cost to put down the rebellion at its most ex- 
pensive period. 

*^Sir, I want it distinctly understood that 
cotton is no longer king in this country, nor is 
gold, but that the laboring-man, the industrial 
classes are sovereign, and their behests must 
be obeyed, and be obeyed speedily. It is un- 
questionably the duty of the industrial classes, 
by means of the ballot, to speedily take the 
Government into their own hands, but in doing 
so to do justice to all." 


Eeturning to what lie called ''this unpardon- 
able sectional strife^', Weaver stated that he 
believed that the old parties were incapable of 
giving relief to the country. It takes ''ten or 
fifteen years to develop the leaders of a great 
party, and fully as long to shake them loose 
again; and it is never done, and history will 
bear me out in that statement, except by move- 
ment from without that crushes the organiza- 
tions over which they dominate. This is the 
only method through which the people can 
gather the fruitage of advanced civilization. 
. . . . A new organization must do it, and 
the Lord is raising up that party now. The 
workmen are all at work in the quarries, and 
every block in the temple shall be peace. As an 
humble representative of the national green- 
back party, I feel great solicitude that it shall 
commence to build on solid foundations; and I 
say here to the gentlemen on the right and on 
the left that the national greenback party wants 
neither soldiers nor bulldozers at the polls''. 

After several interruptions and questions, to 
which Congressman Weaver replied amid 
laughter and applause, he closed his speech by 
saying that unless there was passed at that 
session, "first, a law for the unrestricted coin- 
age of silver ; second, a law for the substitution 
of greenbacks for national-bank notes ; third, a 
law stopping the further increase of the bonded 


debt and providing for the speedy payment of 
the debt now outstanding; fourth, a law liber- 
ating the ^Ye hundred or more millions now 
lying idle in the Treasury; fifth, give to the 
people an opportunity to escape from the im- 
pending loss of their homes ; unless these things 
be done at this session, very few of the gentle- 
men who occupy seats upon this floor will ever 
see them again. 

^^Our people out West do not like the combat 
to which you summon them, nor the feast that 
you set before them, nor yet the contrast that 
exists between the inflation mortgages upon 
their farms and the resumption hogs they are 
forced to sell. There is too great a contrast 
between them. There is a screw loose in Fed- 
eral legislation, and the people have found 
where it is. They have learned that these 
parties [Eepublican and Democratic] are 
recreant to their trust and are not legislating 
for their interests. 

^^Let us act as Eepresentatives of the whole 
people, and not as politicians, nor for the rings 
and cliques of the country. "^^^ 

This first speech in Congress was very illu- 
minating. It not only gave General Weaver an 
opportunity to declare his views upon public 
questions, but it also gave him a chance to dis- 
play his ability as a debater. His ready use of 
scriptural references and quotations was espe- 


cially noticeable: liis deeply religious nature 
was never concealed in his public service. The 
success of his first appearance may be inferred 
from statements made in Iowa papers in which 
it was declared to be the first time the sixth 
district had been heard from in Congress since 
its organization in its then existing form. 
Indeed, such was the impression made that 
Congressman Weaver was invited by the mayor 
and other citizens of New York to speak at 
Cooper Institute on April 30th.i<^- 

General Weaver had voiced ideas and prin- 
ciples in Congress that were little regarded at 
the time. The contrast between the reception 
given his views in 1879, and the attitude of the 
two great parties in recent years towards 
social politics, is the measure of the progress 
made in the intervening period. The pioneer 
of 1879 is now seen to have been a farsighted 

Again on April 10th Weaver took part in a 
debate in regard to the proper disposition of 
$10,000,000 held in the Treasury to redeem 
fractional currency. The debate was an inci- 
dent in the discussion of appropriations for the 
Pension Bureau in connection with the legis- 
lative appropriation bill. On account of an 
impending deficit the Secretary of the Treasury 
had proposed an issue of four per cent bonds. 
Opponents of this recommendation urged that 


the $10,000,000 referred to was idle money, and 
could safely be used because of the small 
amount of fractional paper currency in circu- 
lation, and also because the Secretary of the 
Treasury was authorized to exchange $10,- 
000,000 of subsidiary silver coins for the 
$10,000,000 of paper money. Mr. James A. 
Garfield and Mr. John A. McMahon of Ohio 
were the principal speakers. Weaver sup- 
ported the position taken by Mr. McMahon who 
argued for the use of the $10,000,000; while 
Mr. Garfield opposed it on grounds of sound 
financial policy. 

Congressman Weaver thought it ^^unques- 
tioned that the $346,000,000 of legal-tender 
notes outstanding" included ^Hhe $10,000,000 
held in the Treasury for the redemption of the 
fractional currency", and that the Secretary of 
the Treasury was ^'abundantly able to redeem 
all the fractional currency" as it came in with 
fractional silver. The suggestion of Mr. Gar- 
field that the law passed on May 31, 1878, 
requiring the Secretary to pay out greenbacks 
as they came in under the Resumption Act, was 
simply a law to make certain what before was 
uncertain was not true. ''The resumption law 
was a bold attempt to convert every greenback 
into interest-bearing debt and then to destroy 
them .... under the resumption act the 
Secretarv of the Treasurv was destroying the 


greenbacks, every one that came into Ms hands. 
This law was passed .... to prevent the 
further destruction of greenbacks; and it 
further provides that he should pay them out 
and keep them in circulation. This amendment 
does not change existing law. Why keep on 
hoarding them? Why keep them there to re- 
deem fractional currency w^hen there is no 
necessity, when you have plenty of fractional 
silver currency to redeem them? It is a mere 
trick of the Secretary to avoid the plain object 
of the law and to circumvent public sentiment. 

^ ^ Now, the policy of the gentleman from Ohio 
[Mr. Garfield] is this : to issue bonds to get 
money to pay the arrearages of pensions, while 
ours is to issue the idle greenbacks now in the 
Treasury and save to the people this enormous 
and unnecessary increase of the public debt.''^^^ 

On May 8, 1879, Weaver interposed remarks 
in a debate upon a free coinage bill. Congress- 
man H. G. Fisher of Pennsylvania, a hard- 
money advocate, opposed the measure upon the 
usual grounds that gold would be driven out of 
circulation and the country would have only 
silver. He referred sarcastically to a bill intro- 
duced by a Greenbacker, Mr. Gilbert De La 
Matyr of Indiana, asking for $1,000,000,000, 
saying that he Avanted the same amount for a 
few constituents ^'for the laudable purpose of 
constructing a narrow-gauge air-line railway to 


the moon, to ascertain whether or not that 
luminary is made of green cheese. ' ' Mr. Fisher 
declared that he wanted to say to the gentleman 
from Iowa that he was elected by his constitu- 
ents upon a gold platform and that he had car- 
ried his district the first time it was ever 
carried by the Republicans. In reply Weaver 
said, *^That is good. I carried mine the other 
way for the first time.''^^^ 

General Weaver's longest speech during the 
first session of his service in Congress was de- 
livered on May 9, 1879, in connection with a 
discussion over a bill for the free coinage of 
silver. He declared, in beginning his address, 
that the consideration of *^ systems of finance 
for a great government" was an important 
matter, but that he had not been highly im- 
pressed with the manner in which those opposed 
to the bill had discussed the question. ^*They 
seem to regard the bill as an unwarranted in- 
trusion upon the rights of somebody. They 
attack it alternately with levity, sarcasm, and 
abuse. It is a question that ought to be dis- 
cussed in the light of the Constitution, the 
necessities of our people, and the present con- 
dition of public affairs.'* 

Two facts, he said, impressed him forcibly at 
the commencement of the discussion: "silver 
and gold have been used as money from the 
foundation of human society", and there is 


* * about an equal amount of gold and silver bul- 
lion in the world. ' ' Opposition to the remoneti- 
zation of silver can only be based upon ^'the 
position that there is too much metal money in 
the world .... The annual gold product 
throughout the whole earth at this time is about 
$100,000,000, (and it is rapidly declining,) 
barely enough, if we could command it all, to 
pay the annual interest of the bonded debt of 
the United States alone. If we are to demone- 
tize silver, and have no power to create a legal- 
tender paper money, it will be readily perceived 
that the proposition is to hitch the car of Amer- 
ican progress and American civilization to this 
decreasing product, and this will lead us into 
inevitable decline and pauperism." 

General Weaver maintained that Congress 
had no power to prohibit silver coinage and 
that the law passed in 1873 was consequently 
unconstitutional. In referring to the more 
recent claim that the demonetization of silver 
in 1873 was *^an accident, and was not inten- 
tional'', he said that if the excuse was a true 
one, the proposal to reinstate silver as legal- 
tender money would not be opposed. ^^The 
animus of the demonetization of silver is dis- 
closed by the opposition which its remonetiza- 
tion has met with and is now meeting with. In 
reality and in truth, silver was demonetized in 
the interest .... of a certain class of 
men in this and in other countries. 


''It is very remarkable, wlien you come to 
read the history of the demonetization of metal 
money, that that metal which is the more abun- 
dant is always demonetized . . . . it is a 
remarkable circumstance that demonetization 
in the Old World is coincident in point of time 
with demonetization in this country. And the 
w^ar upon silver is made by the same class of 
men the world over, namely, those having fixed 
incomes and who complain that the value of 
their incomes will be depreciated in proportion 
to the increase in the value of property. I want 
these facts to be well understood by the people 
who own the great bulk of the labor and prop- 
erty of this country. I want them to distinctly 
understand that the conflict is between money 
on the one hand and all other kinds of property 
on the other. . . . 

' ' I am as much opposed as any member here 
to worthless money, to depreciated money, but 
unquestionably it is the interest of the great 
mass of our people that we should have cheap 
money and dear property; I do not mean 
worthless money, but I mean cheap money as 
compared with the property which it buys. 
Property is held by the many and money by the 
few; and if the Government is to be adminis- 
tered in the interest of the many, then my prop- 
osition is correct. I want good money, but 
cheap money and dear property. We have just 


the reverse of this to-day ; we have cheap prop- 
erty and dear money. Money to-day is master 
and king in America, and property goes beg- 
ging and is at a discount." 

In the next place reference was made to the 
fact that England, 'Hhe greatest bondholding 
nation upon the earth,'' was the first to de- 
monetize silver. ^'The money dealers of Ger- 
many, England, and the United States own the 
bulk of the funded debt of the world, which now 
amounts to about thirty-two thousand millions, 
mostly contracted in flush times. 

* ^ Capitalists readily saw that if they could 
strike down as legal-tender money one-half of 
the metal money of the earth and make this 
enormous funded debt payable in gold alone, it 
would be greatly to their advantage. The people 
should thoroughly understand this also. They 
are beginning to understand it, and are every- 
where and almost unanimously demanding that 
silver shall be thoroughly reinstated. Thus we 
are brought face to face with the great fact that 
demonetization was the result of a great inter- 
national conspiracy, inaugurated by men who 
had fixed incomes as against, and to the detri- 
ment of those who own the great bulk of the 
property of the world. ' ' 

After a number of questions were asked and 
answered. General Weaver turned to a consid- 
eration of the national banking system and 


showed that if it was to be permanent ' ^ then of 
necessity the bond system must be permanent 
also .... Hence you have ingrafted 
upon this Government as another step in the 
great conspiracy the system of permanent 
national banks and permanent national debt'\ 
As another reason for opposing national banks 
he referred to their power to contract the cur- 
rency at their pleasure in accordance with the 
demands of trade. He maintained that the 
elasticity obtained at the option of the banks 
constituted one of the greatest objections to 
the system. 

General Weaver also declared that ' ^ resump- 
tion was another step in the great scheme which 
included the demonetization of silver. The re- 
sumption act was one of the trinity of infamies 
fastened upon the American people by that 
diabolical plot. What was the plea for that 
act? It was that we should pay our honest 
debts, that we should pay the debt created by 
the greenback. This was the plea of the repub- 
lican party all over the country; that the Gov- 
ernment ought to pay its honest debts. I wish 
to show right here and now the hypocrisy of 
that declaration. I say that the resumption act 
was not passed for the purpose of paying our 
honest debts, but for the purpose of increasing 
the bonded debt of the country. ' ' 

In conclusion he referred to the abusive 


methods used by the opposition in Congress and 
by the press against the Greenbackers. "It 
makes the syndicate and subsidized press as 
mad to see a greenbacker in Congress as it does 
a bull to shake a red flag at him. ' ' ^^^ 

A contemporary newspaper account of Con- 
gressman Weaver's speech will give some idea 
of the impression made by him in Congress 
during his first session of service. According 
to this report his speech in April "made him 
such a reputation as a debater and a man of 
ability" that he was sure of an attentive hear- 
ing whenever he desired to speak. When it 
became known that he had prepared a careful 
speech reviewing the whole scheme of Repub- 
lican bank and bond legislation, there was a 
general desire to hear him. As soon as he 
began to speak members from all parts of the 
house crowded into the seats near him. His 
own seat was "next to the center aisle, three 
seats from the front, the most available place 
in the House.'' The galleries were well filled 
at the beginning and the numbers increased as 
he proceeded. 

"As the speaker gradually opened the 
theme", continues the account, "and step by 
step, exposed and denounced the wicked legis- 
lation of the Republican party, drawing hearty 
applause at every turn, it was amusing to see 
the syndicate fellows on the Republican side 


wince and gnash their teeth. Finally, angered 
to a perfect fit of frenzy, they began to inter- 
rupt the speaker with questions. But they were 
answered so quickly, candidly and effectually, 
that they could not retain their anger, and as 
many as ten or a dozen would be up propound- 
ing questions at the same time. Finally, Gen. 
Weaver, who preserved his good temper 
throughout, remarked that he was perfectly 
willing to answer all the questions that anybody 
might care to ask, but he suggested that it 
caused too great confusion to have the whole 
syndicate propounding questions at the same 
time. This raised a general laugh and took the 
wind completely out of the whole horde. "^^^ 

It was on May 15, 1879, that Congressman 
Hiram Price of Iowa commented upon Weaver's 
speech which had been delivered during his 
absence. In the course of his remarks he men- 
tioned the fact that he had the printed speech 
before him. He wanted to show, he said, that 
^^the whole tendency of the debate'' was ^^to 
create unrest, uneasiness, dissatisfaction, un- 
certainty" in monetary and commercial affairs. 
He was ^^a silver-dollar man, and in favor of 
the silver dollar of 412% grains." He refused 
to allow Mr. Weaver to interrupt in a five- 
minute speech. He could take his own time and 
he would answer any speech or question that he 
might ask. He reiterated his statement that 


such a debate as they were engaged in was un- 
settling the business of the country and making 
the people uneasy and dissatisfied. ^^ To-day a 
day's labor will buy more of anything that a 
man eats or wears than it ever would at any 
time in the last fifty years of the history of this 
country. ' ' ^^"^ 

During the voting upon various sections of the 
silver coinage bill on May 21st General Weaver 
offered an amendment directing the Secretary 
of the Treasury to pay out ^^ without discrimi- 
nation standard silver coin belonging to the 
Government that may at any time be in the 
Treasury the same as gold coin in liquidation 
of all kinds of coin obligations against the Gov- 
ernment.'' After much opposition to the pre- 
senting of this amendment from Eepublican 
leaders like Mr. Garfield and Mr. Eeed, a vote 
was taken which resulted in 143 yeas, 75 nays, 
and 67 not voting. ^^^ 

The next day during some heated remarks a 
hard-money representative referred to the gov- 
ernment as ^^a damned scoundrel", if it paid 
interest on its bonds in depreciated currency. 
He added that he did not '^use the word in a 
profane sense, but as a pulpit expletive." At 
this point General Weaver made the point of 
order that the gentleman was *^ swearing like 
the army in Flanders ' ' — a sally that was greet- 
ed with laughter by the House.^^^ 


Again on June ISth Congressman Weaver 
was allowed five minutes in the debate upon the 
bill providing for the exchange of trade-dollars 
for legal-tender silver dollars. He remarked 
by way of introduction that it was amusing to 
listen to ^Hhe conflicting views'' upon metal 
money. One member thought the silver dollar 
of 412% grains was not of equal value with the 
gold dollar, and would be willing to cut down 
the gold dollar to equalize them. He did not 
have personally ''any very serious objection'', 
but he would like to inquire how the bonds is- 
sued since 1870 could be paid since they were 
payable either in gold or silver dollars of 
existing weights. A change in the gold dollar 
would leave only the silver dollar with which 
to pay interest upon the bonds. ' ' That, I think, 
would be a capital joke on the bondholder, and 
I rather like it." 

Next he paid his respects to his colleague 
from Iowa, Mr. Price, whom he described as 
growing eloquent in the closing hours of the 
session in favor of unlimited coinage of silver 
after voting against the Warner Silver Bill a 
few weeks before. Mr. Price interrupted to 
warn him against misrepresenting his position, 
and to say that he had never stated that he was 
in favor of unlimited coinage of silver. In 
reply Mr. Weaver remarked that ''at the risk 
of my personal safety, then, let me put my col- 


league on record before the people of Iowa as 
being opposed to unlimited coinage. The gen- 
tleman may take that form of the dilemma if 
he likes, and that will not be very safe for him 
in Iowa/' Mr. Price answered that he had 
stated his views upon the question before the 
people of Iowa. 

Congressman Weaver then took up the pro- 
posed redemption of the trade-dollar with 
standard dollars. ^^What! Propose to redeem 
a dollar of 420 grains with one of 412% grains! 
"Why will not the gentleman be consistent and 
come out and admit frankly .... that it 
is the fiat that he wants and not more grains of 
metal r' In reply to questions as to whether 
he did not think that paper money could be 
*^made as good by the simple fiat of the Govern- 
ment as metal money '^ he stated that he was 
^'in favor of gold, silver, and legal-tender 
paper money, of equal legal-tender qualities, 
and made so by the fiat of the Government.'' 
His opponents were '4n favor of gold, silver, 
and national-bank currency — particularly the 
national bank part of it." 

Asked what he would have his greenback 
money based upon. Weaver replied that he 
wanted it founded ^*upon the gold, the silver, 
the wheat, the corn, and everything else in the 
country, including the public credit." Several 
other questions brought out from Weaver the 


rejoinder: ''One at a time, if you please. 
Verily, the voice of the greenbacker stirreth up 
my friends on the right. ' ' 

''Now, there is great difficulty in regard to 
cutting down the amount of gold in the dollar ' % 
continued Weaver. "As I remarked, if you 
reduce the amount of metal in the gold dollar 
it will be said you cannot pay the bond in gold. 
And if you add to the amount of silver in the 
silver dollar, then you take away, for the third 
time, from the people the right to pay the 
bonded debt according to the contract. It is 
high time for this Government to do away with 
this bartering with creditors, and say, 'There 
is one dollar for all, rich and poor alike ; and it 
shall pay all debts to the rich and the poor, 
whether he be a bondholder or a bondpayer'. 
We want a dollar of the Government estab- 
lished by law, and not by barter with crafty 
public creditors .... I adhere to the old 
standard of 4121/2 grains for a silver dollar and 
25.8 grains for a gold dollar, and then I would 
have the royal loyal greenback as my paper 
dollar. It came to the rescue of the Govern- 
ment when silver and gold, like cowardly trai- 
tors, fled away and hid until the battle was 
over. "11^ 

During this first session General AVeaver 
introduced ten bills, six of which had to do 
with pensions or relief for soldiers or their 


dependents and one related to the removal of 
cases from State courts to United States courts. 
The remaining three measures had reference to 
the currency : one directed the Secretary of the 
Treasury to pay out standard silver coin with- 
out discrimination; another authorized the 
Secretary of the Treasury to issue $600,000,000 
of United States notes to be known as lawful 
money of the United States ; and the third gave 
the same official power to issue $50,000,000 of 
fractional currency. The bills introduced by 
him, as well as the part which he took in debate, 
indicated that his paramount interest was in 
currency and financial matters. ^^^ He repre- 
sented ably and constantly opinions that had 
been gradually taking shape for a number of 
years. Some of these opinions have been 
proven, by later developments and through 
wider observation, to be mistaken. Thus, the 
myth about the * ' Crime of 1873 ' ' as a part of a 
world-wide conspiracy to strike down silver is 
no longer seriously regarded. But the funda- 
mental truth of the danger to democracy from 
the concentration of wealth and financial power 
is now generally recognized. 

General Weaver was a pioneer with the 
viewpoint of the agricultural West. At the 
same time he was without the experience to 
judge broadly as to financial and business 
developments in the older industrial and com- 


mercial parts of the country. Instinctively, 
and in the main accurately, he felt that financial 
and commercial interests could not safely be 
left to deal with matters of vital concern to the 
masses of the people. The details of his 
diagnosis have many times been shown to be 
erroneous, but his main conclusions have come 
to be generally accepted. Even in the case of 
his emphasis upon the currency, many observ- 
ers and authorities admit that a more liberal 
policy might have avoided some of the diffi- 
culties actually experienced. Political reasons 
rather than economic forces have too often 
determined national policies. 



Second Session in Congress 


During the second session of his Congressional 
service, lasting from December 1, 1879, to 
June 7, 1880, the role taken by General Weaver 
was similar to that assumed by him in the first 
session. On December 3, 1879, he introduced 
what came to be known as the Weaver Soldier 
Bill, described to be ^^for the relief of the sol- 
diers and sailors who served in the Army and 
Navy of the United States in the late war for 
the suppression of the rebellion, and to restore 
to them equal rights with the holders of Gov- 
ernment bonds. '^ The bill was read twice and 
referred to the committee on military affairs. 
A week later he asked ^^ unanimous consent to 
present a petition signed by about twenty 
thousand ex-soldiers or their immediate 
friends." Although not specifically mention- 
ing it, the petition requested relief along the 
lines suggested by the bill introduced by 
Congressman Weaver. 

The petition declared that the soldiers had 
been paid in ^^a depreciated currency'^ worth, 



during' the greater part of their terms of ser- 
vice, ^ ' from forty to seventy cents on the dollar 
in coin"; that the government had since de- 
scribed ^Hhe payment of the bondholders in the 
same money" as ^^ dishonesty and repudia- 
tion"; and that the bondholders did not have 
^ ' a claim either in law or equity better than the 
men who offered their lives that the nation 
might live". The petitioners, therefore, be- 
lieved that the government was '4ionestly and 
justly indebted to the soldiers for the difference 
between the value of greenbacks and gold at 
the time of payment with 6 per cent, interest, 
compounded semi-annually", and that Congress 
should provide for the payment of such differ- 
ences in ''a full legal-tender greenback, not to 
be fundable into bonds of any rate or class." 
Such action, it was declared, would give ''im- 
mediate and direct relief to one million of the 
defenders of our Government in its hour of 
trial and danger, and indirectly to forty mil- 
lions of American citizens by reason of the 
impetus given to all industrial pursuits". 

Congressman Weaver requested that the pe- 
tition without the names be read and that it be 
referred to the same committee to which his 
soldier bill had been referred. He also an- 
nounced that ''at the proper time" he would 
address the House in support of the petitioners. 

On December 18, 1879, General Weaver rose 


to a question of privilege in regard to a para- 
graph in the New York Tribune of the day 
before which described the numerous petitions 
recently received from ex-soldiers as all alike 
and suggested that he was the author of them. 
Viewing the item as a reflection upon his char- 
acter ^^as a Eepresentative of the people", 
Weaver declared that he was not the author 
and was not ^Hhe exclusive medium of their 
presentation to the House .... I hurl 
back the imputation as a slander by this Wall 
street journal upon myself and the brave men 
who have petitioned for equal rights with the 
holders of Government bonds.'' In conclusion 
he remarked that ^*at the death of Horace 
Greeley the New York Tribune lost its reputa- 
tion both for honesty and intelligence.'' 

About a month later Congressman James W. 
Singleton of Illinois presented a petition from 
five hundred officers, soldiers, and sailors from 
Greene County, Illinois, asking for the passage 
of the Weaver Soldier Bill. The petition con- 
tained resolutions, adopted at a mass-meeting 
held in the county, requesting their ** Senators 
and Representatives in Congress (without re- 
gard to political parties) to support this most 
just and righteous measure", and urging organ- 
ization **all over the nation" and the keeping 
of a record of the action of members of Con- 
gress as to their attitude toward the measure. 


The bill received no further consideration in 
the House, and consequently General Weaver 
probably never delivered his promised address 
in its favor, although there was printed in the 
appendix to the Congressional Record, under 
date of May 10, 1880, a speech entitled Human 
Life versus Gold, and described as ^^on the bill 
for the relief of the soldiers and sailors . . 
. . and to restore to them equal rights with 
the holders of Government bonds. '*^^^ 

The most dramatic episode in Weaver's sec- 
ond session in Congress was his long struggle 
for recognition by the Speaker in order to 
present two resolutions. In the first of these 
resolutions it was declared to be the sense of 
the House that ''all currency, whether metallic 
or paper, necessary for the use and convenience 
of the people, should be issued and its volume 
controlled by the Government, and not by or 
through the banking corporations of the coun- 
try '\ The second resolution opposed the re- 
funding of the public debt, urging that it should 
be paid ''as rapidly as possible '', and "to 
enable the Government to meet these obliga- 
tions, the mints of the United States should be 
operated to their full capacity in the coinage of 
Standard Silver Dollars, and such other coin- 
age as the business interests of the country 
may require''. 

These resolutions, embodying fundamental 


financial principles from the point of view of 
the third party group in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, were drafted by Weaver, and on the 
first Monday in January, 1880, he asked to be 
recognized by the Speaker in order to introduce 
them. Under the rules of the House at that 
time it was proper for any member on Monday, 
if he could secure recognition of the Chair, to 
move the suspension of the rules and place upon 
its passage any measure which he might desire 
to offer. 

Recognition of Mr. Weaver was refused by 
the Speaker because the Democrats did not wish 
to be placed upon record, immediately before 
the Presidential election, upon what they re- 
garded as ^^mere abstractions. '^ Each Monday 
for thirteen weeks the struggle continued. 
After a few weeks it began to attract general 
attention. Crowds filled the galleries on Mon- 
days and the newspapers severely criticized 
^'the aggravating perseverance of the author 
of the resolutions.'' The Speaker received 
many letters, some praising him for his firm- 
ness and others denouncing him as a tyrant. 
The illustrated weeklies also contained ^^ gross 
and uncomplimentary" caricatures of General 
Weaver. Finally, on March 6, 1880, Harper's 
Weekly published a full page cartoon by Nast, 
representing Weaver ^'as a donkey, braying to 
the utter consternation of the House. The 


Speaker was represented as standing with liis 
back to the author of the resolutions, members 
as holding their hands over their ears, others 
as endeavoring to crawl under the desks, and 
the Mace as having been blown violently from 
the hands of the Sergeant-at-Arms while he was 
vainly attempting to hide from the storm. ''^^^ 
The first reference in the Congressional Rec- 
ord to these resolutions is to be found on 
February 27, 1880, in a debate upon the re- 
vision of the rules. Weaver referred to them 
as having frightened the House for five weeks, 
saying that they represented the opinion of 
ninety-nine out of every hundred members of 
the Democratic party west of the Alleghany 
Mountains. He then had them read as a part 
of his remarks, and afterward declared that he 
'Svell understood" why the leaders of the 
Democratic party, ^' being in the East for hard 
money and in the West for soft money, ' ' did not 
want to be put on record ^ ' on the eve of a presi- 
dential election. But these resolutions are now 
before the country, and I shall be found stand- 
ing here inserting the thorn in the flesh every 
Monday from now until the adjournment of 
Congress, unless sooner gratified, seeking rec- 
ognition. I am determined that gentlemen in 
this House shall be put upon the record on 
those resolutions and their public professions 
tested. "114 


March 1, 1880, Congressman Weaver rose to 
make a ^* parliamentary inquiry''. After con- 
siderable controversy with the Speaker and 
other members, he mentioned the cartoon by 
Nast, ^^a gross misrepresentation'', showing 
the Speaker with his back toward him. Mr. 
Garfield asked which figure represented Mr. 
Weaver, who replied: ^'The large figure with 
the long ears, of course, represents me. You 
know that the ass in the Bible saw the angel 
before Balaam, his rider, saw him."^^^ 

Finally at the beginning of April it became 
apparent that the long struggle would soon 
end. Eumors that recognition would be given 
the first Monday of the month became current, 
evidently emanating from the Speaker himself. 
Then a new problem appeared as under the 
rules a yea and nay vote could not be secured 
unless demanded by one-fifth vote of the mem- 
bers. There were but thirteen of the National 
party so that assistance was necessary to ob- 
tain a vote after recognition had been conceded 
by the Speaker. In this emergency Mr. Weaver 
and his associates appealed to Mr. Garfield to 
help in obtaining a yea and nay vote. They 
pointed out that the Eepublicans were already 
on record against the propositions contained in 
the resolutions, while the Democrats at home 
usually favored the propositions, but always 
avoided being put on record in regard to them. 


After consultation with Ms colleagues Garfield 
replied that his side of the House would sup- 
port the demand for a yea and nay vote. 

It was on the first Monday in April that 
General Weaver was finally recognized. He 
made ''the necessary motion to suspend the 
rules and demanded that the vote be taken by 
yeas and nays. Upon statement of the demand 
by the Chair the Greenback members, General 
Ewing, of Ohio, and Mr. Tillman, of South 
Carolina, rose to their feet followed by the 
entire Eepublican side of the House. The yeas 
and nays were accordingly ordered. ' ' Immedi- 
ately with a few exceptions, the Democrats left 
the hall and gathered in the cloak rooms for 
consultation. On the first call of the roll only 
three or four Democrats responded, while the 
Republicans voted almost solidly in the nega- 
tive. On the second call there were 84 yeas 
and 117 nays, 91 not voting. The affirmative 
vote consisted of eleven Greenbackers, one Re- 
publican, and seventy-two Democrats, mostly 
from the South and West. The negative vote 
was composed of Republicans, reinforced by 
eastern and middle States Democrats. ^^^ 

In the debate upon the resolutions Mr. Gar- 
field said that he had never heard the provisions 
contained in them until they were read that 
day. They had, however, attained ''some his- 
torical importance by being talked about a good 


deal in the newspapers, and by blocking the 
other business of the House for some weeks.'' 
After a brief analysis of the resolutions, he 
asked how the $780,000,000 falling due ^^this 
year and next" were to be paid. ''Print it to 
death — that is the way to dispose of the public 
debt", according to the resolutions. He urged 
^'both parties" to show their courage by de- 
stroying ''the triple-headed monster of cen- 
tralization, inflation, and repudiation com- 

Replying to the leader of the Republicans, 
Congressman Weaver declared that he reck- 
oned himself "most happy in having an 
opportunity of witnessing a vote upon these 
resolutions" which had "so attracted the atten- 
tion of this House and of the country for the 
past three months." He was not surprised at 
the opposition of the gentleman from Ohio, for 
he understood "very well that that gentleman 
and his party" stood "in the road blocking the 
progress of the people toward financial re- 
form." With reference to the criticism direct- 
ed at the resolutions, he pointed out that "the 
national greenback party is opposed to the vio- 
lation of the public faith, and is squarely 
opposed to the repudiation of any portion of 
the public debt. We are in favor of the pay- 
ment of the debt according to the contract, and 
we are the only party that desires ever to pay 


it." In answer to the question where the gov- 
ernment could get the money to pay the ma- 
tured bonds, he said: ''first, from the surplus 
revenues properly increased by a judicious in- 
come tax; second, by the coinage of silver." 
Explaining more fully his meaning, he declared 
that the government bought silver with the 
surplus revenues and manufactured silver dol- 
lars, and the $4,000,000 worth monthly that 
might be purchased under the existing law, 
would pay off the debt in half the time that it 
was proposed to fund it for. He called atten- 
tion to the fact that they were paying otf the 
debt then ''for electioneering purposes at the 
rate of tw^o millions a week", and did not feel 
it. There was ample surplus revenue for the 
purpose; all that w^as needed was the disposi- 
tion to pay.^^"^ 

During the second session of the Forty-sixth 
Congress it appears that General Weaver intro- 
duced ten bills, nine of which were for pensions 
or for the relief of soldiers and their depend- 
ents. The tenth measure was the so-called 
Weaver Soldier Bill. He also introduced five 
resolutions — two of these being the proposi- 
tions about which he made his long fight for 
recognition by the Speaker. Of the other three, 
one was his minority report from the Com- 
mittee on Elections, of which he was a member, 
recommending that the seat occupied by 


William F. Slemons from the second district of 
Arkansas be declared vacant; another request- 
ed the Secretary of the Treasury to report to 
the House his action in anticipating interest 
payments upon the public debt as provided for 
by a joint resolution passed in March, 1864; 
and the third recommended the employment of 

an *^ additional page for the convenience of the 
House. ^' lis 

These bills and resolutions indicate his two 
chief interests — justice to the soldiers who 
had served in the Civil War and currency and 
finance. Frequently he combined them in one 
measure — as in his Soldier Bill in which he 
proposed *^to restore to them equal rights with 
the holders of Government bonds.'' 

His speeches and incidental remarks illus- 
trated the same tendencies. On January 22, 
1880, he spoke upon the bill then under discus- 
sion requiring the reserves of national banks to 
be kept in gold and silver coins. He pointed 
out that under the proposed measure banks 
might keep their entire coin reserves in sub- 
sidiary silver and trade-dollars. Those coins 
were consequently ^'exalted above the green- 
back'', which was a legal tender for all 
amounts. Such a proposal was '^a discrimina- 
tion against the greenback and inimical to the 
interests of the people .... and in favor 
of the bondholder. It is the same old obnoxious 


class legislation over and over again .... 
The greenback is the only reliable dollar in 
America to-day. It stays at home, and is al- 
ways as good as gold.'' 

The claim of the opposition that the country 
owed '^ three hundred and forty-six millions of 
legal-tender war debt'' was refuted by refer- 
ence to the act of Congress of May 30, 1878, by 
which '*the greenback became the perpetual 
legal-tender money" of the United States. He 
admitted the statement of the opposition that 
President Lincoln approved of the issue of 
greenbacks because there was no other re- 
source. *^Gold, silver, and the Shylocks of the 
country failed the Government in the hour of 
its trial, and we were compelled to resort to 
legal-tender paper. It was the fiat of the Gov- 
ernment to save the nation's life; and the same 
fiat is doubly necessary to-day to save the 
liberties of the people .... The issue 
fairly before the people is this: Shall we have 
in this country legal-tender paper issued by the 
Government, or shall the people depend upon 
banking corporations for their circulating 
medium 1 Shall the Government or the banking 
corporations control the volume of the cur- 
rency? Let gentlemen meet that issue fairly 
and squarely. The issue is between the cor- 
porations and the people. Shall we depend 
upon banking corporations for the volume of 


our currency, and in that way give the banks 
the control of all values in this Republic?'^ 

He referred to the opposition of "the gentle- 
man from New York [Mr. Chittenden] " to his 
soldier bill; "he stooped over and shook his 
little fist in my innocent face! .... The 
gentleman goes into hysterics the very moment 
he mentions the soldiers ' bill. He regards it as 
an assault upon the peculiar interests which he 
represents. But he is not the only gentleman 
who is seriously annoyed by it. A very dis- 
tinguished gentleman, a citizen of the State of 
Illinois, a distinguished ex-soldier and philolo- 
gist [John A. Logan] said .... that the 
bill introduced by General Weaver .... to 
equalize the pay of soldiers was the worst piece 
of ^ demagogy ' — ' demagogy ' is good — ever 
introduced into an American Congress.'^ 

Mention was also made of a letter of a mem- 
ber of the House from Missouri in which it was 
said that the author of the soldiers' bill was 
not in earnest and that the bill would not pass. 
^ * Sir, let me say that the author of that bill and 
the more than five hundred thousand men who 
stand behind him were never more in earnest 
than now. They were not more earnest when 
storming the heights of Fort Donelson or fight- 
ing the bloody battles of Shiloh, Gettysburgh, 
and the Wilderness. And this House must give 
the relief asked for, or these men will send a 


Congress here that will grant them their 
prayer. ' ' 

General Weaver next paid his respects to his 
^^ colleague from Iowa [Mr. Price] '^, who had 
spoken a few days ago. He had told them that 
^^ France had $426,000,000 of silver money, and 
60 per cent, more than that of gold. That would 
give France $19 per capita in gold, $12 in 
silver, and she has $12 per capita in paper, 
making in all $43 per capita for the entire 
population, while in this country we have not 
to-day $8 per capita in actual circulation, al- 
though we have a population 50 per cent, 
greater than France, and an area of territory 
eighteen times larger than the territory of that 
country. ' ' He pointed out that his ' ' colleague ' ' 
had ^^ occupied every sign in the zodiac upon 
this question of finance, and no man can tell 
from what he said in his speech whether he 
favors this bill or is opposed to it ... . 
But my colleague lauds the greenback! There 
is one thing I do not want him to do. He must 
not try to crawl into bed with the greenbackers 
without first taking off his republican boots 
and overcoat." 

In conclusion he declared that the bill was 
calculated ^'to take the greenback out of the 
reach of the people and place it in the hands of 
those who will hoard it. Under the law as it 
now stands they can not do this as well as they 


could desire. The people have some little pro- 
tection. But if this bill becomes a law they will 
be largely deprived of the legal-tender paper 
dollar. It will disappear from circulation . . 
. . the attempt has been made in this House 
since the assembling of Congress to suppress 
the discussion of the financial question. It can- 
not be done. The pressure is from without. It 
comes from the people, who are masters of the 
situation. They are discussing it in every vil- 
lage and hamlet, in every public meeting, in the 
workshops, and even in the churches, and they 
will continue to discuss it until it is settled in 
their behalf. ''1^^ 

Another speech by Weaver was printed in 
the appendix to the Congressional Record 
under date of May 10, 1880, with the title of 
The Irrepressible Conflict — The People vs. 
Privileged Classes. It is described as having 
been made while the House had under consider- 
ation the bill *Ho facilitate the refunding of 
the national debt" — although it may never 
actually have been delivered. In this speech he 
maintained that the ^* system of funding the 
public debt, now the ruling policy of this Gov- 
ernment, affords the most startling evidence 
of the domination of the privileged classes, and 
marks our total and melancholy departure from 
the teachings of the founders of our Republic. 
It is not a plant of American growth, but is 


borrowed from the effete aristocracies and 
monarchies of the Old World. This system has 
been ingrafted upon our simple republican 
polity by men who are hostile to democratic 
institutions, and who believe in an aristocracy 
of wealth whose privileges and exemptions 
guarantee to the few the greatest possible 
accumulation of property and the widest con- 
trol of public affairs .... 

*^A11 legislation looking to the perpetuation 
of our national debt, and of the national-bank- 
ing system which feeds and fattens upon it, 
should be universally discouraged and de- 
nounced as a crime against the people, and all 
laws looking to their existence should be imme- 
diately repealed. '' 

^^Such has been the management of our 
finances, that it is conceded we cannot pay at 
the date these bonds become redeemable. The 
pretext upon which they were issued was, that 
the Government was not then able to pay, but 
would certainly be at the expiration of the time 
for w^hich they were then to be issued. The 
expectation that we would ever be able to pay 
all these bonds at once was never for a moment 
entertained by the managers of this funding 
scheme, and if the people ever entertained such 
an idea they have been signally disappointed. 

^^The national party is opposed to funding 
this debt. We say that it is our great duty to 



demand that it shall be paid. How can it be 
done, and when! We answer: 

^* First. By applying the surplus revenue to 
its extinguishment, which now amounts to over 
$50,000,000 per annum after defraying all ex- 
penses of the Government. 

*^ Second. By paying out the silver now in 
the Treasury, amounting to $70,000,000. Twen- 
ty-three million dollars of this consists of sub- 
sidiary coin 7 per cent, light, which would have 
to be coined over into standard dollars. 

^^ Third. By operating our mints to their 
full capacity in the coinage of standard silver 

*^ Fourth. By levying a judicious income-tax 
upon the wealthy, who now bear none of the 
burdens of taxation. 

^' Fifth. By substituting legal-tender green- 
backs for national-bank notes and canceling the 
bonds now held by the Treasury to secure their 
circulation. ' ' 

In conclusion General Weaver declared that 
** national banking and the funding system are 
counterparts of each other. The two must 
perish together, and perish quickly. They are 
twin monsters, brought hither to crush out lib- 
erty on this continent. Aware of the danger, 
the people have organized a party for self- 
defense. This party believes in the power of 
the Government to make all the monev neces- 


sary for the use of the people, and in the right 
of the nation to pay off its debt whenever it has 
the money. No human power can stop the 
progress of this new movement. It is broad 
and national in its doctrines and purposes. It 
eschews sectionalism, and demands for the 
humblest individual in the land a free ballot, 
fair play, and equal rights before the law. The 
old factions will not allow us to succeed if by 
any means, fair or foul, they can defeat us. In 
California they strike down free speech with 
fine and imprisonment. In other sections they 
confront us with slander and misrepresentation. 
The bulldozers of one section join hands with 
the money kings of the other to crush the peo- 
ple's party, and to keep laboring-men from 
voting their untrammeled sentiments. But 
^your covenant with death shall be disannulled 
and your agreement with hell shall not stand.' 
You have the chains forged necessary to rob 
industry of its reward. But you shall be dis- 
appointed. You would like to see the sun rise 
and set on a nation of slaves. But the people 
perceive your purpose and are awake to the 

' ' May God in his infinite mercy help the tax- 
payers of this country to look into this question, 
and nerve them to rebuke their despoilers ; may 
He send upon our people that high type of 
patriotism and courage that will crush all 


parties, and men, and laws that stand for the 
enslavement of the people !"^^^ 

No matter what might be the nature of the 
measure upon which General Weaver was ad- 
dressing the House, he seems usually to have 
turned to some phase of the subjects that mainly 
engaged his attention. In February, 1880, in 
speaking upon a bill regulating the removal of 
causes from State to Federal courts, with which 
he expressed himself as '^in hearty accord'', he 
took up the subject of corporations. He re- 
garded the right of corporations to appeal to 
Federal courts in the trial of cases brought 
against them by individuals as a serious griev- 
ance, and in violation of the constitutional 
principle that the citizen should be tried by a 
jury of the vicinage. 

He pointed out that the founders of the gov- 
ernment ' ' threw around the cradle of the young 
Eepublic certain safeguards. One of these 
safeguards was that there should be no titles of 
nobility in this country; another that the right 
of primogeniture should not obtain here, that 
there should be no entailed estates, so that the 
w^ealth of the country should diffuse itself 
among the people according to natural and 
beneficent laws. They did not contemplate the 
creation of these corporations that are as real 
entities as are individuals — ideal persons that 
never die, and yet possess the power to acquire 


and hold property equally with real persons. 
They did not .... contemplate the rise 
and progress of these legal Goliaths. . . . 

''The existence of such corporations seems to 
be necessary to the progress of our civilization ; 
they are inseparable from it; but they should 
not be clothed by legislation with exclusive 
privileges over the citizen. The people must 
put hooks into the jaws of these leviathans, and 
control them. 

' ' The accumulation of capital in the hands of 
these corporations of itself gives them immense 
power and tremendous advantage over indi- 
viduals. But if you, in addition to that, load 
them with exclusive privileges by law — the 
privilege of shirking and shunning the ordi- 
nary tribunals in which the common people have 
to litigate their rights — and if you allow them 
the power and the privilege of dragging the 
citizen to remote tribunals, then, indeed, you 
more than double or treble their power. The 
corporation should seek no exclusive privileges, 
and the citizen should be just to the corpora- 
tion. . . . 

''What objection .... can be urged 
against compelling corporations to come into 
the State courts? The only one I can imagine 
is that there is a prejudice in the minds of the 
people which precludes justice in the State 
courts .... If there is prejudice existing 


to-day in the minds of the people against cor- 
porations, it grows out of a deep-seated con- 
viction on their part that the legislation of the 
country has been in favor of the corporation 
and against the citizen. Let the citizens . . 
. . know and understand that there are to be 
no exclusive privileges, that the corporations 
are simply to go into the State courts and there 
assert their rights as any other citizen ; that of 
itself will disarm any honest man of preju- 
dice. . . . 

*^ There is no such thing as shutting the eye 
. . . . to the fact that there is a growing 
tendency to-day in this country to concentration 
of power in the hands of the few. I do not 
charge in my remarks that this is the result of 
any deliberate scheme of legislation; it is not 
necessary here for me to do so; it is a fact 
nevertheless. And whenever this Congress or 
this House has the opportunity to strike down 
that tendency, and to reduce all classes of 
citizens to an equal footing, and to remand 
them to common rights, they should avail them- 
selves of the opportunity. ''^2^ 

Weaver's position in the House was an un- 
usual one ; for the first time there was a group 
of members who did not belong to either of the 
two great parties. They were too small in num- 
bers to hope to have much influence, but they 
believed that they represented a considerable 


proportion of the people of the country, and 
consequently felt obliged to assert themselves. 
Their official designation was '' Nationals '', but 
they were variously referred to in the House as 
the ^^ party of the center '^ and as a ^' third 
party '\ The former appellation was taken 
from the location of their seats (six of them 
including Weaver had seats on the center 
aisle) ; the latter came from the traditional 
division of our people into two parties follow- 
ing the accepted English arrangement. Any 
divergence from settled principles was de- 
scribed as a third party ; all legislative arrange- 
ments presumed two parties and two only.^^^ 

Early in his Congressional career General 
Weaver seems to have been recognized as the 
leader of the third party group. His ability as 
a speaker and debater, and his prominence as a 
soldier and in the Eepublican party before he 
joined the Independents pointed to him as the 
most promising member for such a role. To- 
ward the end of the second session the time of 
final adjournment was under consideration. 
The Speaker ruled that fifteen minutes should 
be allowed to the member representing the ma- 
jority, and the same amount to the one repre- 
senting the minority, and he added that ^Hhe 
gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Weaver] claims that 
he ought to be recognized to have a portion of 
the time, and therefore the Chair would sug- 


gest that a part of it, say, five minutes, should 
be allowed to him. ' ' In reply to a question the 
Speaker said that it was the custom '^to recog- 
nize representative members." 

There was considerable opposition to the 
ruling, but it was finally followed and General 
Weaver spoke against adjournment. He de- 
scribed the funding bill as ^^a menace to the 
labor and industry of this country, and threat- 
ens the whole country with a calamity more 
terrible than a plague, pestilence, or famine. 
The fate of that bill is extremely doubtful if 
the vote can be reached now. The vote in this 
House on the 5th of April on the currency and 
debt resolutions placed the funding bill in great 
peril. This is well understood. But it is just 
as well understood that if its friends can carry 
it over until after the presidential election, they 
will pass it and fasten that debt perpetually 
upon American industry. That is one of the 
main reasons for this hasty adjournment. 

** Again, the right of petition has been denied 
and abridged to the American people during 
this session. Petitions bearing the signatures 
of more than six hundred thousand soldiers 
have been stowed away in a committee-room in 
this House unheeded. These soldiers petition 
for justice and the equalization of their pay. 
They ask the Government to fulfill its solemn 
contract made when the country's life was in 


hazard. But there is no disposition on the part 
of a majority of this House to regard their 
petition. Fifteen years have now passed away 
since the close of the war, and yet the bounties 
and back pay due to soldiers and the pay of 
teamsters and others who served in our armies 
for the preservation of the Union are unsettled 
and utterly neglected. Hundreds of claims 
have been adjusted, even under existing law, 
but Congress has thus far failed to make the 
necessary appropriation to pay them. 

^* During these fifteen years that have elapsed 
since the war closed the Government has been 
giving away to rich corporations vast empires 
of our public domain and throwing the wealth 
of the country into the laps of the opulent and 
powerful. But there is no disposition to be 
just, much less generous, to the soldier, his 
widow, and orphan. 

^'I enter my solemn protest against the final 
adjournment until Congress does justice to the 
men who saved the flag that throws its protect- 
ing shadow over the Speaker ''.^^^ 

These remarks are an excellent illustration 
of the way in which Weaver made use of every 
opportunity to emphasize his favorite prin- 
ciples. In season and out of season he called 
attention to those measures which he regarded 
as of vital importance. Most of his effort 
seemed wasted at the time — practically no re- 


suits were obtained. His work was that of a 
pioneer, misunderstood and ridiculed. But it 
was destined to bear fruit in due time, although 
not always in the form which he proposed. 
Many times he was mistaken in his detailed 
proposals, but he was sound in his hostility to 
special privilege as opposed to the best inter- 
ests of the masses of the people. 

He made two basic contentions : that the gold 
production of the world was inadequate to fur- 
nish the circulating medium for the trade of the 
world, and that the control of the volume of 
money in circulation should be by the govern- 
ment and not by the bankers. As to the first of 
these contentions, it should be remembered that 
the circulating medium per capita in the United 
States and the world has been tripled since 1896 
by the opening of the Eand and Alaskan mines, 
and by the introduction of processes for the 
reduction of low grade ores. Furthermore, the 
control of the currency has been definitely 
placed by the enactment of the Federal Eeserve 
Act in the hands of the Federal government. 


First Campaign foe the Presidency 


The records show that General Weaver was 
granted leave of absence ^indefinitely" from 
June 7, 1880, by the House of Representatives, 
Congress itself adjourning that year on June 
16th.^-^ No reason was given for the action; 
but it was understood that such leave would 
allow him to attend the Greenback National 
Convention which was to meet in Chicago on 
June 9th, and by which he was to be nominated 
for the Presidency. His prominence in Iowa as 
a Eepublican leader before his change of 
parties, supplemented by his activity in Con- 
gress for two sessions, made him inevitably one 
of the most promising Greenback presidential 
probabilities in 1880. He seems to have been 
very optimistic in regard to the prospects for 
the Greenbackers playing an important part in 
the election.^2^ 

There was clearly a chance that the new 
party might hold the balance of power in the 
next Congress as it had hoped to do in the 
Forty-sixth Congress. The narrow escape 



from defeat in 1876, together with the dissatis- 
faction of many Republicans with the adminis- 
tration of President Hayes, gave encourage- 
ment to the hopes of success of the Democrats. 
In any event the new party might find itself in 
a position of advantage. No selection of Presi- 
dent by the electors might throw the election 
into the House, and in such an event the Green- 
backers would hold a place of great strategical 
importance, and might conceivably dictate 
which one of the leading candidates should be 
made President. Political uncertainty in 1880 
favored the Greenback party. 

In 1879 occurred the biennial election for 
Governor in Iowa, John H. Gear being a candi- 
date for reelection. Weaver was reported to 
have decided against fusion with the Democrats, 
and to have said that the Greenback vote in the 
State would amount to 75,000. He also believed 
the Greenbackers would carry the South in 
1879. An editorial on an interview with him in 
The Iowa State Register in September de- 
scribed him as **the leader of his party in this 
State and a popular candidate of it for the 
Presidency next year.'' Weaver announced 
that the ^^ great guns" of the party — Solon 
Chase and Congressman Murch of Maine, 
James Buchanan and Congressman De La 
Matyr of Indiana, and ^'Old" Jesse Harper of 
Illinois — were coming to Iowa to help elect a 


Greenback congressman in the Fifth District to 
fill the vacancy caused by the death of the mem- 
ber elected in 1878. Success in this contest 
would strengthen the Greenbackers in Congress 
as well as prepare the way for the campaign in 
1880. Weaver himself had taken part in the 
campaign in Maine, from which he had just 

His estimate of the Greenback vote in Iowa 
was too optimistic — the actual count was 
nearer 45,000 than 75,000. But 1879 witnessed 
some near successes in Maine and Massachu- 
setts that made his predictions actually more 
reasonable at the time than subsequent events 
now lead us to believe. In Iowa, too, the Green- 
backers received the largest vote ever cast for 
a third party in that State — thus partly justi- 
fying Weaver's optimism.^-^* On the eve of the 
campaign of 1880 there was really some ground 
for the belief that the situation of the Green- 
backers corresponded to that of the Republican 
party in the early days of its existence. 

In January, 1880, a National Greenback 
Labor conference was held in Washington, 
attended by one hundred to one hundred and 
twenty-five delegates exclusive of the Greenback 
Congressmen. Most of those present were rep- 
resentatives of State and local Greenback 
organizations with a few from trade and labor 
unions. The gathering was composed of law- 


yers, editors, workingmen, and farmers, repre- 
senting many different shades of political and 
social reform. After the chairman of the 
National Committee had called the conference 
to order. Congressman Murch of Maine was 
made permanent chairman. The purpose of 
the meeting was to decide the time and place 
for the next national nominating convention, 
and after considerable discussion Chicago was 
selected as the place and June 9th as the time. 
Besides adopting the usual resolutions the 
conference endorsed Weaver's bill for the 
equalization of soldiers' pay and bounties; but 
immediately afterwards Weaver himself ap- 
peared and asked the withdrawal of the endorse- 
ment, since in his opinion the matter was not 
suitable for consideration at that time. His 
request was promptly complied with.^-^ 

A few months later General Weaver was said 
to favor General Benjamin F. Butler of Massa- 
chusetts as the best man for the Greenbackers 
to nominate for President; and Congressman 
De La Matyr agreed with him, declaring that 
with Butler as a candidate the election would be 
thrown into the House and the Democrats 
would vote for Butler in preference to a Re- 

Early in June, 1880, Weaver, Gillette, and 
Senator David Davis of Illinois, had an ex- 
tended conference in Washington upon the 


political situation. It was hoped by Weaver 
and Gillette that Senator Davis wonld consent 
to become the candidate of the Greenback part}^ 
for the Presidency and the meeting was ar- 
ranged with that object in view. The confer- 
ence occurred in one of the committee rooms of 
the House of Eepresentatives and lasted for 
about three hours. Senator Davis declared that 
he felt grateful for the mention of his name as 
*^the candidate of the industrial people, and 
was in accord with most of their purposes ; but 
he was not in a situation to accept the nomina- 
tion and must decline, and we were instructed 
to see that his name was not placed before the 
convention. We plead with him to yield, but 
without avail. "129 

In May, 1880, the Iowa State Greenback Con- 
vention met at Des Moines. Resolutions to 
present General Weaver as the first choice of 
Iowa Greenbackers for President to the Na- 
tional convention were objected to; but upon 
the explanation being made that only a recom- 
mendation to the delegates was intended, the 
resolutions were adopted upon motion of L. H. 
Weller ^Svith three cheers and a tiger." Gen- 
eral Weaver, Congressman Gillette, Daniel 
Campbell, and M. H. Moore were chosen dele- 
gates at large.i-^^ 

The National Greenback Convention met at 
Chicago on Wednesday, June 9, 1880, and con- 


tinned in session until early Friday morning- 
Considerable confusion attended its organiza- 
tion because of the very varied elements of 
which it was composed. Almost every phase 
of radical opinion of the time had representa- 
tives anxious to have their peculiar views 
recognized. Supporters of woman suffrage 
and socialism were especially active in their 
efforts; and there were divisions among the 
Greenbackers themselves, some favoring fusion 
with the Democrats and others opposed to com- 
promise of any kind. Woman suffrage was 
given a hearing, but no reference to it was made 
in the platform. Forty-four delegates from the 
Socialist Labor party were admitted to the 
convention at their own request in order ^Ho 
make common cause against the common enemy 
— the money power. ' ' 

Apparently General Butler was most gener- 
ally thought of as a candidate for President at 
the beginning of the convention — at any rate 
he seems to have been the second choice of a 
very large number. Edward P. Allis of Wis- 
consin also had ^^a good deal of strength among 
Western delegates.'^ Later the sentiment of 
the convention turned to Weaver. Nomina- 
tions began at one o'clock Friday morning and 
continued for three hours. Congressman Gil- 
lette nominated General Weaver and six other 
candidates were named. At four o'clock an 


informal ballot was taken and resulted as fol- 
lows: General Weaver, 226; Hendrick B. 
Wright, 126; Stephen Dillaye, 119; General 
Butler, 95; Solon Chase, 89; Edward P. Allis, 
41 ; and Alexander Campbell, 21. 

Before a formal ballot was taken the names 
of Wright, Dillaye, Allis, and Campbell were 
withdrawn. When in the balloting it appeared 
that General Weaver had over 500 votes. States 
rapidly changed their votes; and when the re- 
sults were announced at six o'clock, he was 
declared to be the unanimous choice of the con- 
vention for President. B. J. Chambers of 
Texas was quickly nominated for Vice Presi- 
dent. Escorted by a committee that had been 
appointed to request his presence. General 
Weaver appeared and accepted the nomination 
in a *'few neat and timely words.'' At 6.45 
A. M. after an all night session the convention 

A committee authorized by the convention 
and composed of S. F. Norton, E. P. Allis, 
Solon Chase, S. D. Dillaye, and E. H. Gillette, 
wrote General Weaver *Hhat the Greenback 
Labor party of the United States, represented 
by 830 duly elected delegates from 36 States of 
the Union, assembled in National Convention 
. . . . reposing special trust and confidence 
in your integrity as a servant of the people, 
unanimously nominated you for the office of 



President of the United States .... We 
also notify you that the convention, realizing 
the fact that the press, the pulpit, and public 
speakers, are to such an extent in the service 
and under the control of our political oppo- 
nents, that our limited force of newspapers and 
public speakers, are at a disadvantage, in point 
of numbers, in the work of discussing the ques- 
tions of finance and labor reform, passed a reso- 
lution urgently requesting you to devote your 
time to personally addressing the people at 
public meetings during the campaign.'^ 

On July 3, 1880, from his home at Bloom- 
field, General Weaver formally accepted the 
nomination ^^as a solemn duty'\ After refer- 
ring to the importance of the union of ^Hhe 
various Greenback and Labor elements into one 
compact organization '', he declared that ^Hhe 
admirable platform adopted by the convention ' * 
met with his ** cordial approval. It is compre- 
hensive, reasonable and progressive — contain- 
ing those principles of economic reform essen- 
tial to the preservation of the liberty and the 
prosperity of the whole people." 

An adequate circulating medium was, in his 
opinion, at the basis of the prosperity of the 
people of the country. Such a medium could 
only be issued by the government and should 
not be controlled by banking corporations. The 
existence of the national banking system de- 


pended upon the continuance of a national debt, 
both institutions having been borrowed from 
the English monarchy. He urged the payment 
of the public debt as rapidly as possible, and 
maintained that the surplus revenues and the 
idle coin in the Treasury, together with that 
which would accumulate under the silver law 
of 1878, would be sufficient to pay off the debt 
within the next six years. The only excuse for 
funding the debt was to perpetuate the national 
banking system which, with other corporations, 
was ^^fast swallowing up the profits of labor, 
and reducing the people to a condition of vas- 
salage and dependence. Those monopolies, of 
whatever class, headed by the associated banks, 
are interlocked in purpose, and always act in 
closest sympathy.'' 

General Weaver believed that ^^the great 
problem of our civilization'' was ''to bring the 
producer and consumer together", and to do 
this, besides an adequate currency, the ''rigid 
regulation of inter-State commerce and trans- 
portation" was necessary. As both of these 
wxre in the control of monopoly, the producer 
and the consumer were being ground into 
"poverty and ruin". He was "especially 
thankful" that the platform was "open, bold, 
and unmistakable on these great questions", 
because the Republican and Democratic plat- 
forms were either "silent" or "pronounced in 


favor of the monopolies and against the 

As to other items in the platform he referred 
particularly to the fact that an area of the 
public domain ^'larger than the territory occu- 
pied by the great German empire" had been 
*^ wantonly donated to wealthy corporations", 
while a bill to enable poor people to reach and 
occupy the public lands had been ^^ ridiculed 
and defeated" in Congress. The public do- 
main should be sacredly reserved for actual 
settlers, and where corporations had not com- 
plied strictly with the terms of the grants, the 
lands should be reclaimed. The Iowa State 
Register described this proposal as ^'the So- 
cialistic land resolution adopted by the recent 
national convention of the Greenback-Labor 
party" in noting the receipt by the national 
executive committee of the Socialist Labor 
party of a letter in which Weaver expressed 
approval of the resolution.^^^ 

As to the immigration of persons from for- 
eign countries General Weaver thought that 
those *^ seeking homes and desiring to become 
citizens of the United States, should be encour- 
aged, but the importation of Chinese servile 
laborers ' ' should be strictly prohibited. 

He pointed out that the bondholders had 
been paid in gold, while the soldiers and sailors 
had been paid for their services in greenbacks. 


The soldiers had been taxed to pay the interest 
on the bonds, while the bondholders had gone 
free. During the existing Congress all efforts 
for relief had failed because of the rigid rules 
of the House of Representatives, and the dicta- 
torial power lodged in the hands of the Speaker. 

In this letter of acceptance General Weaver 
took occasion to declare that *^one of the grand 
missions'^ of the Greenback party was ^*to 
banish forever from American politics that 
deplorable spirit of sectional hatred, which for 
base purposes'' had been kept alive by the 
Republican and Democratic leaders. *^Let us 
have a free ballot, a fair count, and equal rights 
for all classes — for the laboring man in North- 
ern manufactories, mines and workshops, and 
for the struggling poor, both white and black, 
in the cotton fields of the South.'' 

Finally, he urged '* united action of all indus- 
trial classes, irrespective of party .... 
to re-establish in the administration of public 
affairs, the old time Democracy of Jefferson 
and Jackson, and the pure Republicanism of 
Abraham Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens." 

In answer to the desire of the convention 
that its candidates *^ visit the various sections 
of the Union and talk to the people ' ', he replied 
that it was his ^ intention to comply with this 
request to the extent" of his ability.^''^ 

This letter of acceptance embodied Weaver's 


views upon public policies on the eve of the 
presidential campaign in 1880. His funda- 
mental interest, as has been already indicated, 
centered in finance, including the currency, 
banks, and the public debt: he favored the use 
of greenbacks and silver upon an equality with 
gold. As a Western man he also felt the need 
of the regulation of transportation, and he 
believed he discerned a connection between the 
money power and the railroads. He anticipated 
by many years the idea of ^interlocking direc- 
torates. '^ He saw another field of activity of 
the corporations, especially of the railroads, in 
the public lands, and here he anticipated in part 
the later policy of conservation of natural 
resources. He felt that the soldier had been 
discriminated against in favor of the bond- 
holder, but he discouraged a continuance of 
sectional controversy between the North and 
the South. He hoped for the union of all the 
forces of democracy in his day just as before 
the Civil War there had been a union of all the 
forces opposed to slavery. In his day he saw 
in the place of slavery the money power and 
industrial monopoly. Weaver was the first real 
leader in a movement which has gone on in- 
creasing in momentum, but which has by no 
means as yet attained the goal to which he 

The campaign of the Greenback candidate 


seems to have begun in July : it ended only with 
election day. He covered the country from 
Arkansas to Maine, and from Lake Michigan to 
Mobile. In July and August he spoke in Ala- 
bama, Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia, and 
Indiana. Late in August he went to Maine, 
speaking in Faneuil Hall, Boston, on his way 
there, and at Cooper Union, New York, on his 
return. In October, at Des Moines, he de- 
scribed his campaign to date by saying that he 
had been speaking in the open air for nearly 
one hundred days, sometimes twice a day; had 
made more than one hundred speeches; had 
travelled 20,000 miles; had shaken hands with 
30,000 persons; and had addressed 500,000 
people in fifteen States. At Terre Haute, 
Indiana, he had an audience of 30,000, and at 
other places in that State he had spoken to 
8000, 10,000, and 12,000 people. Notwithstand- 
ing continued rain. Cooper Union in New York 
City w^as packed to its utmost capacity. His 
campaign in Maine was described as a tri- 
umphal march. People were said to have trav- 
elled over two hundred miles to hear him at 
Portland, and then were greatly disappointed 
because his time was limited by the lateness of 
the hour.^3^ 

Late in September the charge was made that 
the Greenback canvass was being ^'manipulated 
in the interest of the Republican party, and 


General Weaver's expenses borne in large 
measure from the Republican campaign fund. ' ' 
The author of the charge, Dyer D. Lum, assist- 
ant secretary of the Greenback National Com- 
mittee, described a meeting of the Executive 
Committee in New York in July at which, be- 
sides the chairman of the National Committee, 
Congressman Murch of Maine, General Weaver, 
Lee Crandall, Edward Daniels, Geo. 0. Jones, 
and Lum himself were present. They ^Sverc 
also assisted with the advice and counsel of 
Senator John P. Jones of Nevada." At that 
meeting General Weaver proposed the name of 
Geo. 0. Jones to raise funds for the campaign. 
When General Weaver was in New York on 
his way from the South to Maine, Lum claimed 
to have called his attention to a rumor that 
Jones had received $5000 from the Republican 
fund. Weaver was described as replying *'that 
it made no difference how much had been 
received, for his tour of Alabama and Arkansas 
would have been simply impossible without the 
aid Mr. Jones extended to him.'' General 
Weaver was accompanied from New York to 
Boston by Mr. Jones, and on that trip it was 
arranged that Weaver should oppose fusion in 
Maine, and create disaffection between the 
Greenbackers and Democrats. Lum declared 
that every act of Weaver recently had aimed to 
injure the Democrats. 


In addition Lum referred to visits made by 
him to Republican leaders, including General 
Chester A. Arthur, from whom he obtained 
information as to sums of money given to 
Jones and by Jones sent to Weaver. Informa- 
tion as to the existence of this plan had come 
gradually, and in his desire to protect the party 
from scandal he had hitherto remained silent. 
Now that the policy was becoming a matter of 
general suspicion, and other persons were pro- 
testing, he felt that he ought not longer to 
remain silent. Consequently, he regarded it as 
his duty to give the information that he had to 
the chairman of the National Committee, who 
had not been in close touch with the campaign 
since the July meeting. 

In reply to these charges General Weaver 
declared that Lum's statement was ^^base, 
treacherous, and false in all of its essential 
features.'' He then gave a list of the moneys 
received by him since his nomination for Presi- 
dent. These amounted to $1,695, of which $800 
had come from Mr. Jones. Out of these funds 
he had paid the expenses of his ^^ong and 
laborious campaign", and he had contributed 
$570 to party expenses in various States. The 
remainder $1,125 had fallen short by $100 of 
paying his actual expenses. He knew '^ person- 
ally" that the national executive committee was 
in debt several hundred dollars for documents 


sent out to the people. He had given a careful 
statement of the sums received and the immedi- 
ate sources, but he did not know, and had not 
asked where the money originally came from, 
and he did not care in the least. He did, how- 
ever, '^most positively assert" that he had 
** never requested, either directly or indirectly, 
personally or through another, contributions 
from the Republican committee, its agents or 
friends; nor have I the promise or hope of 
receiving any money from such source. The 
people of this nation have heard and read my 
speeches during the campaign, and can certify 
whether they have been delivered in the interest 
of the Republican party .... I treat 
both [parties] alike, and compel them to face 
the record they have made. I am making an 
open fight for the integrity of my party and 
the welfare of the people against both the old 
rotten organizations. I defy all traitors in 
Christendom to injure me in the least. ' ' 

The next effort of the opponents of General 
Weaver to discredit him took the form of a 
forged letter, purported to have been written 
by him to Gillette early in September. In this 
letter the opinion was expressed that most of 
the Greenbackers who had come from the Re- 
publican party would return to that party ; and 
so the problem was how to hold the Democratic 
vote. The letter answered that it was ''only by 


the breaking of that party we can hope to suc- 
ceed. If we can hold that vote it will probably- 
elect the Republican candidate, but we must be 
cruel in order to be kind and may possibly 
throw the election in [to] the House where our 
chances would all be equal. Should the fusion 
in Maine be successful .... to which I 
am indifferent; as it would only inure to the 
success of the Democrats in the October States 
and elect their ticket in November, our position 
would not be enhanced but threatened." 

The forged letter was published in the latter 
part of October in the New York Star, a Demo- 
cratic paper. As soon as he heard of it. General 
Weaver issued a sworn statement in which he 
branded the document as ^^an unqualified 
forgery throughout." He had never written 
such a letter and had not ''entertained such 
sentiments or thoughts". Congressman Gil- 
lette also immediately denied ever receiving 
such a letter from Weaver, and declared that 
from conversations with him he knew that he 
did not hold such opinions. Mrs. Gillette had 
conducted her husband's correspondence during 
the period when the letter was supposed to have 
been written, and she added her statement to 
those of General Weaver and Congressman 

The trick of the Democrats seems to have 
had for its purpose the winning of the election 


by weakening Weaver so that he would not get 
as many Democratic votes as he might other- 
wise obtain. The Democrats were dissatisfied 
because Weaver did not favor fusion with them 
in 1880. They had hoped that he would follow 
the same policy in the national campaign as he 
had followed in the Congressional election. 
Apparently Weaver believed that there was a 
chance for the Greenbackers to develop strength 
enough to dictate to the old parties and possibly 
even displace one of them. At Des Moines in 
October he predicted the election of from 
twenty-five to fifty Congressmen, and he 
thought that they would ^ ' crowd the old parties 
close in some States on the electoral ticket'' .^^^ 

In connection with these charges the Iowa 
State Press, a Democratic paper, declared that 
General Weaver had not done anything to 
favor the Democrats during the entire cam- 
paign. He had urged fusion with the Repub- 
licans in Alabama, but had denounced fusion 
with the Democrats in Maine. Recently the 
most prominent Greenbacker in Pennsylvania, 
and Congressman Murch of Maine, had de- 
nounced his policy in the present campaign. 

General Weaver wrote to the Pennsylvania 
Greenbacker, Frank Hughes, in answer to his 
published charges that he was opposed to 
fusion. He was ^'in favor of an open, straight 
fight against the Democratic and Republican 


wings of the Money Power", and had '^no 
choice between them. If you have, take your 
choice and go where you belong. 

^^It is impossible for the Greenback party to 
overthrow the old parties by forming an alli- 
ance with them to place them in power. Nor 
can an honest man have any respect for a party 
organization that will do so. 

''You, sir, have the right to differ with me in 
opinion; but you mistake the sentiment of the 
Greenback voters .... if you think they 
are in favor of dividing our electoral ticket 
anywhere with either of the old parties." 

''As to your insinuation that I am actuated 
by sinister motives in anything said or done by 
me during the campaign, I denounce you as a 
slanderer and calumniator." 

About the same time The loiva State Register 
said editorially that General Weaver made mis- 
takes, but was never charged with corruption. 
It was added that he never made a fusion in 
which he could not dictate the terms. ^^^ 

In the election in November, General Weaver 
received 308,578 votes as compared with slight- 
ly over 80^00 cast for Peter Cooper in 1876. 
The ten States contributing the largest number 
of votes in the order of votes cast were Mis- 
souri, Michigan, Iowa, Texas, Illinois, Pennsyl- 
vania, Kansas, Indiana, New York, and Ken- 
tucky. Only two of these States Avere eastern : 


the Greenback Labor party was chiefly west- 
ern. ^^'^ 

The election of 1880 was the first national 
election in which a third party had had aggres- 
sive leadership attempting to create a new 
party. General AVeaver seems to have believed 
sincerely in the possibility of such a manifesta- 
tion of strength by the Greenbackers that the 
Eepublican and Democratic parties would be 
compelled to recognize their importance. Of 
course he was disappointed in the immediate 
outcome, but the result that he undertook in 
one way has to a considerable extent been 
brought about in another manner: instead of 
the creation of a new party there has been the 
permeation of both the old parties by the ideas 
for which he stood. The social and industrial 
emphasis in the politics of the present goes 
back to Weaver as the pioneer. Social politics 
had its source in the campaign of 1880 — a cam- 
paign that ranks historically with those of 1896 
and 1912. His actual canvass, in the extent of 
territory covered, and the number of people to 
whom he appealed directly, was not excelled 
until the Bryan campaign of 1896. He esti- 
mated that he had spoken to a million people in 
sixteen States.^^* 

Shortly after the election in November there 
was a meeting in Chicago of a half dozen promi- 
nent Greenbackers of the northwest. During 


the conference, which was for the purpose of 
consultation, a reporter of the Chicago Tribune 
interviewed General Weaver, w^ho said that the 
^'Greenback party has reason to feel proud of 
the result [of the election] so far as it is con- 
cerned. We did not expect to elect our Presi- 
dential candidate, but we expected to establish 
ourselves as a party to be respected.'^ When 
he was asked how he accounted for the falling 
otf of the Greenback vote in Indiana, Illinois, 
Ohio, and Michigan, he replied that there was 
no falling off if the country as a whole was 
considered. The vote four years before was 
only 80,000, while for the present year it would 
be from 300,000 to 500,000. The States re- 
ferred to were ''neutral ground when the two 
great parties were fighting for their lives, and 
that fact drew many votes from our party. 
Many men were afraid of the Solid South, who 
otherwise would have voted and worked for us. 
They were afraid to throw their votes away 
while that question remained unsettled. Now 
the Southern question is forever settled. Now 
the Democratic party is dead. The Solid South 
is broken.'' 

In reply to an inquiry as to how he expected 
the break in the South would be effected, he 
said: ''Through the Independent party — the 
Greenback party. I believe the question of a 
free ballot was settled at the last election, but I 


believe that this settlement will not be accom- 
plished by the Republican party. The South 
will never accept the Republican party, but they 
must accept the Republican idea. History is 
repeating itself, and we expect to be the new 
party built on the ruins of the dead Democ- 
racy. ' ' 

The reporter then asked General Weaver 
about his future course, and he answered that 
he should make his '^ fight solely and squarely 
against the Republicans. We shall insist on a 
discussion and settlement of the great economic 
questions .... The Republicans, under the 
leadership of John Sherman, and the Demo- 
crats under Senator Bayard, will insist on the 
demonetization of silver and the retirement of 
the greenback. We shall oppose that, and I 
believe that the Republicans of the West will be 
unanimous in defense of silver and the green- 
back. If they dare to press this question — and 
I believe they intend to — we shall gain thou- 
sands of Republican and Democratic votes, and 
will surely succeed on that issue. We shall not 
press for expansion, but we shall urge the dis- 
placement of the National bank-notes by the 
greenbacks. The Republicans, I believe, will, 
as soon as they get into power, pass the Fund- 
ing act, putting oif debate under the previous 
question if necessary. What I should advocate 
would be to pay off the bonds in silver, from the 


surplus revenues, thus giving the bondholder 
coin of the standard in use at the time the bonds 
were issued. The people do not want a simple 
gold currency, and any attempt of the Eepub- 
lican leaders to pass such a measure will cause 
a stampede to our party. I should not increase 
the circulation except by the silver coined 
according to the amount fixed by law. " 

In concluding the interview. General Weaver 
said: '^I can tell you one thing. We are in 
accord with the Eepublican idea on the Na- 
tional question. Every good Greenbacker spells 
the word ^Nation' with the biggest kind of an 

]N^ M139 

Soon after the Chicago conference General 
Weaver issued an address to the ^^ National 
Greenback Labor Voters of the United States'' 
on the results of the election. The main fea- 
tures of this address were a claim that ^^near 
five hundred thousand votes" were cast for the 
party's candidates, and an earnest appeal to 
his supporters to reorganize for the next cam- 
paign. The Iowa State Register received an 
advance copy, and made the comment that the 
General had become ^* saturated with Victor 
Hugo 's didactic style, as witness : 

^'All hail, glorious army! 

'^Champions of equal rights, freedom and 
brotherhood, I salute you! 

^^ Around the altar of universal justice, I in 



my heart clasp hands with each of you, while 
we renew before the whole country our cove- 
nant never to cease our labors until we are 
victorious.'^ The further comment was added 
that he did not say anything about the loss of 
15,000 votes in Iowa in one year. ^^Such small 
matters do not interest the undismayed and 
hopeful General. ''14^ 


Close of the First Term in Congress 


The last session of General Weaver's first term 
in Congress lasted from December 6, 1880, to 
March 3, 1881. Legislation in which he took the 
greatest interest and the passage of which he 
opposed most vigorously was the bill for the 
refmiding of the national debt. This bill had 
been left over from the preceding session, and 
was debated in the House intermittently from 
December 14, 1880, to its passage on January 
19, 1881. At the very close of the session it was 
finally vetoed by President Hayes because of a 
provision in it which seemed to him to threaten 
the permanence of the national banking sys- 

On December 21, 1880, the chairman of the 
committee on ways and means tried to dispose 
of the funding bill before the holidays by limit- 
ing debate upon it to two or three hours. There 
was considerable opposition to this proposal 
both because of the shortness of time before 
adjournment for the holidays and because of 
the presence of barely a quorum of members. 



Among others Weaver opposed the proposition, 
saying that it was one of the most important 
bills then pending and that he protested most 
heartily against such haste. He protested in 
the name of his ** constituents, and in the name 
of the people of the United States ; and if there 
are sufficient members upon this floor who will 
stand by me — if there are twenty-five men who 
will sustain me in my efforts — I will see that it 
does not pass, and that it is not to be consid- 
ered now.'' 

The motion to limit debate was not agreed to 
by the House and consideration of the bill in 
Committee of the Whole proceeded. Congress- 
man Gillette obtained the floor for one hour, 
and after speaking twenty-five minutes yielded 
the remainder of his time to Mr. Weaver who, 
as he was not fully prepared to speak, asked 
the privilege of retaining the time until some 
other occasion. The request was granted by 
unanimous consent. No member wishing to 
speak, it was moved that the committee rise. 
The question was then raised whether the com- 
mittee could control its action in the future, and 
to obviate the difficulty it was proposed to give 
Weaver leave to print his remarks. 

At this point the chairman of the ways and 
means committee, Fernando Wood of New 
York, who had been temporarily absent, re- 
turned and moved to proceed to consider the 


bill by sections. He declared that he was quite 
willing to allow the House to dispose of the bill, 
but that he did not propose to permit '^a few 
members .... less than one-twentieth of 
its members, to force the House, and control 
this bill.'^ He pointed out that there were two 
ways of defeating a measure. One way is to 
vote it down; *^ another is when those who de- 
sire to defeat a measure are not ready, and ask 
the House to delay action until they are ready. 
The gentleman from Iowa who held the floor 
obtained it for one hour. If he is not prepared 
to occupy his hour, any other gentleman who 
desires to speak is entitled to the floor, if the 
Chair recognizes him. But if nobody is ready 
to continue the general debate, it is my right 
and my duty to move that we now proceed to 
the consideration of the bill by sections. '^ 

Congressman Mills of Texas, who had al- 
ready opposed the hurried consideration of the 
bill before the holidays, replied that the gentle- 
man from New York [Mr. Fernando Wood, 
chairman of the ways and means committee] 
need not lecture him about his rights as a mem- 
ber of the House and that ^^he ought not to 
permit his zeal to serve the syndicates and 
bankers in Wall street^' to lead him ''to insult 
a member .... who is asking this House 
to give a grave and deliberate consideration to 
a great question, the passage of a bill which 


amounts to no less than to condemning the 
generations that are to come after us to the 
slavery of a perpetual debt to satisfy the god- 
less greed of the men in Wall street, whom the 
gentleman represents." He notified Mr. Wood 
that he would resist his efforts to force the 
measure through by the use of every parlia- 
mentary means known to the rules of the 
House; he resented Mr. Wood's reference to 
the opposition of a few members. He then 
moved to strike out the enacting clause of the 

Mr. Wood protested that his remarks had not 
referred to the gentleman from Texas. He had 
had notice served on him ''by the leader of a 
very small party in this House that every par- 
liamentary stratagem and right they could 
possibly command they would make use of to 
prevent the passage of any funding bill.'' 
General Weaver interrupted the speaker with 
the statement : ' ' and I now renew that declara- 
tion in the presence of the whole House". 

Continuing Mr. Wood denied that he was con- 
nected ''directly or indirectly in the remotest 
degree with any Wall street brokers or with any 
selfish interests." He was controlled by a ma- 
jority of the committee on ways and means, and 
he regarded it as his duty to press for the 
passage of a bill that would enable the govern- 
ment to maintain its honor and its credit. He 


was not wedded to the details of the bill, but 
provision must be made for the redemption of 
the bonds maturing the coming summer. 

A number of members, including Mr. Bland 
of Missouri and the Speaker, Mr. Randall of 
Pennsylvania, then took part in the discussion. 
General Weaver asked the latter a question in 
regard to the effect of granting discretion to 
the Secretary of the Treasury as to the issue of 
long or short time bonds, expressing the 
opinion that the capitalists would compel him 
to issue long time bonds. Mr. Randall replied 
that he was opposed to giving too much dis- 
cretion to the Secretary, but that ' ' the difficulty 
about the position of the gentleman from Iowa'' 
was that he was not willing *^to do anything 
that looks to a permanent debt, or the further 
exchange of any bond which continues even the 
present aggregate of the public debt. The truth 
is we have this debt on our hands, and if we 
have not the money to pay it off absolutely 
now, we have to provide for it by new loans in 
some way. Therefore the gentleman's position 
is not a practical one, nor does he present a 
business-like argument that would be applicable 
to the business either of an individual, a firm, a 
corporation, or a government." 

In answer to the Speaker's criticism of his 
position. Congressman Weaver stated that he 
was opposed to any permanent debt, and that 


Mr. Randall would be *^if he was following in 
the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson.'^ He him- 
self was opposed to *Hhe funding of any portion 
of the public debt beyond the power of the Gov- 
ernment to pay it when it pleases." The 
Speaker pointed out that General Weaver 
would increase ^Hhe aggregate of the circula- 
tion of the country to meet these bonds", 
and would consequently '* produce inflation 
and depreciate values of every description." 
Weaver's reply was that the gentleman did not 
understand the doctrines of the Greenback 
party, and to this statement the Speaker made 
the rejoinder that he was in favor of green- 
backs before Weaver was. 

To this sally from the Speaker Weaver 
answered that he was ^^like Saul of Tarsus, per- 
secuting the saints at the time the gentleman 
was, like Judas, serving with the Apostles. I 
am not now in that condition. The resolution 
which I had so hard a time to get before the 
House at the last session proposed to pay the 
public debt according to the contract, and in no 
other way. ' ' In reply to another question about 
paying the debt in silver. Weaver remarked 
that no one had referred to the hoard of silver 
on hand in the Treasury which could be used 
for the purpose without endangering resump- 
tion. He declared that he would not support 
any measure that took from the government the 


right to pay the bonds in standard silver coin. 
^'It is very marvelous that the leading demo- 
crats of the East are found to be in full accord 
with the republican party of this country when 
it comes to the consideration of the question of 
finance and other great economic questions. ' ^ 

Eeference having been made to the recent 
political campaign, General Weaver declared 
that the success of his party in his section of the 
country was ^^very marked ^\ The district 
which he represented was carried by the Re- 
publicans ^^by seven majority, and they had to 
put in one hundred and fifty illegal votes to 
count it that way. There was a republican 
majority of four thousand .... two years^ 
ago, and the district remains reliably anL 
republican to-day. ' ' The Greenback parfcj N T V E R s i 
throughout the country polled ** nearly 400 pek ^ of 
cent, of an increase over the vote polled in '"^•^^^^lliiSls: 

In answer to a question as to what length of 
time would be required to meet the debt falling 
due in 1881 if no refunding act should be 
passed, the Speaker replied that in his opinion 
the government could pay in ready cash 
$72,000,000, and of the remaining $600,000,000 
that $400,000,000 certainly could be placed in 
2-10 year bonds, and the balance only need be 
put into a permanent loan at 3%. To another 
question as to how long it would require to 


retire all the bonds falling due in 1881 at tlie 
existing rate of income, Mr. Randall estimated 
the surplus revenue to be $90,000,000 a year, 
and the number of years could be ascertained 
by dividing the amount of the bonds by the 
amount of surplus revenue. 

Discussion then turned to the platform of the 
Democratic party in 1868 which demanded the 
payment of the bonds in greenbacks and to the 
fact that at that time General Weaver was a 
Republican. Weaver replied by saying that 
about the time he got converted to the Demo- 
cratic theory, the Democratic party w^ent back 
on it. Furthermore he declared that ^Hlie 
democratic party in its whole history has 
simply camped every four years exacth^ where 
the republican party camped four years before, 
and during the late campaign they were neck 
and neck with the republican party in their 
doctrine. ' ' 

General Weaver pointed out that in 1876 the 
Democrats complained because the Republicans 
had not hastened resumption and urged the re- 
peal of the resumption act that action might be 
taken immediately, he supposed, but they were 
beaten again. To the suggestion that they were 
cheated out of the election, he replied that they 
were '^beaten out of it some way''. Asked as 
to who was elected in 1876, he answered-: ^'I do 
not believe anybody was elected.'' Again, in 


reply to a question for whom he voted in 1876, 
he said: ^'for Rutherford B. Hayes . . . . 
and I am sorry for it/' 

In 1878 the Democratic party in all sections 
of the country favored ^Hhe substitution of 
greenbacks for national-bank currency, and the 
abolition of national banks, one currency of 
equal legal-tender value with coin, and the abo- 
lition of national bank-notes/' 

But in 1880 the time came again as in 1860 
when the Democratic party had to choose which 
set of ideas should dominate in the management 
of its affairs. In 1860 it had to decide between 
Stephen A. Douglas and Jefferson Davis; no 
agreement w^as made and the party was divided 
and defeated. In 1880 ^4t had to be determined 
whether August Belmont and the Bayards, the 
eastern w^ing .... should dominate on 
all these questions, or whether leaders like 
Hendricks of Indiana, Ewing of Ohio, Voorhees 
of Indiana, Trimble of Iowa, and Beck of Ken- 
tucky, should dominate in the councils of the 
party, and whether the policy of the South and 
West should be adhered to. The result was that 
the Bayards and the August Belmonts dom- 
inated, and the sequel was the overthrow of the 
democracy — a just retribution for forsaking 
the principles they had enunciated to the 

*' There is but one party in the country", 


declared General Weaver, ^Hhat does adhere 
strictly to the principles it has enunciated be- 
fore the public — save and except the repub- 
lican party, which is open and bold in its piracy 
upon the rights of the people of the United 
States. The party I refer to does adhere to its 
maintenance of the rights of the people, and is 
above-board in the declaration of its principles, 
and will be till it sweeps this country. And let 
me say to those who laugh at the diminutive 
size of the greenback party that that comes with 
an ill grace from the republican side of the 
House, when in my own short memory I can 
recall the time when the republican party did 
not poll so many votes as did the national green- 
back party in the last campaign." 

Another question from a Democratic mem- 
ber led Weaver to add that the platform of 1880 
was ^^a slap in the face of every southern and 
western democrat, and of every democrat who 
formerly adhered to the declarations of 1868 
and .... of 1878. It was the repudiation 
of a Voorhees, a Hendricks, a Ewing, a Thur- 
man, the wisest and most fearless and talented 
leaders that the democratic party has produced 
in modern times. It was an indorsement, and a 
cowardly indorsement, of the republican theory 
of finance and of funding. And the result was 
that the people of the United States said, if that 
is to be the settled policy of the Government, 


we prefer to trust the party that has shown 
itself the time-honored friend of the bondholder 
and of the syndicates of the country; we will 
not swap horses while crossing the stream. '' 

These remarks of General Weaver led to 
angry retorts from Democratic members, in 
which the charge made during the recent cam- 
paign that he used his influence in favor of the 
Republican party was repeated. Congressman 
Bland declared that he might deny it, but he 
knew ^'what is matter of public history, and 
that men high in the caucus of his own party 
charged him with this conduct in the canvass 
. . . . his whole campaign .... cor- 
responds with his speech here in the interest of 
the party that has conducted this Government 
and passed the laws he has complained of and 
fixed them upon the people of this country, and 
against the party that all this time has opposed 
that policy.'' 

At this point Congressman William Sparks 
of Illinois interjected a remark to the effect 
that Weaver was then a Eepublican and sup- 
ported those policies. Weaver understood him 
to refer to the recent campaign and retorted: 
^'The gentleman is crazy". To which Sparks 
replied: ^^The gentleman states a falsehood". 
Weaver rose to a question of privilege, but 
Bland claimed he had the floor, and continued 
his attack upon Weaver, whom he described as 


^'belonging to his pretended greenback party ^' 
while he ^^ seems to be more hostile to the demo- 
cratic party to-day than he was when holding 
to his old faith. That seems to be the whole 
purpose and object of these new parties, to 
supplant and cut down the democratic party 
. . . . My friend from Iowa seems to have 
the sympathy of gentlemen on the republican 
side of the House. They seem to be a sort of 
harmonious family, and therefore we may ex- 
pect that when he makes another change it will 
be simply to go back to his old bed and lie down 
in the place that is mentioned in scripture 
where wallow and mire are named." 

In reply to the insinuations of Congressman 
Bland, Weaver made answer that ''the gentle- 
man from Missouri has sought to create the 
impression that I have been a chronic office- 
seeker in the republican party, and that I left 
it because I was disappointed by not getting 
an office. That is not true. When I left the 
republican party it had sixty thousand majority 
in Iowa over all opposition combined. I left it 
because I believed, on investigation of its prin- 
ciples, that its policy was hostile to the interests 
of the people, and that there was no possible 
chance of reforming that party. That is why 
I left the republican party and have remained 
out of it ever since, and I am more at war this 
moment with that party than ever before; and 


no amount of abuse can drive me or induce- 
ments lure me into a party that is hostile to the 
principles which my party promulgates. I will 
organize with any man to fight the money power 
who will agree with me on the principles I advo- 
cate, without regard to the party to which he 
has formerly belonged/' 

At this point Congressman Sparks asked 
Weaver to yield to him a moment and explained 
that his previous statement had not been in- 
tended in any way to reflect upon his conduct 
during the recent campaign, but had referred 
to his membership in the Republican party in 
1868 to 1873 when the objectionable legislation 
was passed. General Weaver accepted the ex- 
planation, but refused to yield more time. He 
said that because of confusion in the House he 
had misunderstood the gentleman from Illinois 
and had replied in the w^ay he did. ^ ^ The gentle- 
man replied very otfensively that that was a 
falsehood. Now, having been compelled once 
to apologize .... the gentleman should be 
very careful about using language of that kind. 
I did not take it as a personal insult ; I did not 
take it as applying to me. If the gentleman 
ever does apply such language to me, and does 
it within the reach of my arm, I certainly shall 
personally chastise him." Here Sparks again 
interrupted to say that ^'the gentleman talks 
about what he will do within the reach of his 


arm. Sir, that gentleman could not do any- 
thing Svithin the reach of his arm\ I spurn 
with contempt the reach of his arm. The reach 
of his arm would affect me about as little as it 
affected the last presidential election.'' 

Weaver replied by cautioning the member 
from Illinois not to talk when he was excited 
and said that he was perfectly safe so far as he 
was concerned. His apology was ample and he 
accepted it, but he warned him against the use 
of such expressions which he believed in Ken- 
tucky were * ^ regarded as the first blow .... 
And the gentleman is mistaken about my fight- 
ing weight; it is one hundred and eighty-five 
pounds." Mr. Sparks quite naturally replied 
by saying that his weight was two hundred and 
fifteen pounds. A further interchange of per- 
sonalities led Weaver to denounce Sparks as a 
liar, to which Sparks responded by calling 
Weaver '^a scoundrel and a villain and a liar". 
Mr. Weaver then advanced toward Sparks '4n 
a menacing attitude", and said, '^If you get 
within my reach I will hit you." 

Members of the House interposed, the 
Speaker resumed the chair, and the Sergeant- 
at-Arms with his mace of office, moved about 
the floor of the House, and order was restored. 
After the committee of the whole had risen in 
due form, the House adjourned. ^^^ 

The next day before the completion of the 


reading of the Journal, ^Hhe disgraceful pro- 
ceedings of yesterday'' were considered. A 
Republican Congressman from Massachusetts, 
S. Z. Bowman, rose to make a parliamentary 
inquiry preliminary to the proper punishment 
by the House of the offenders ; R. M. McLane, a 
Democratic member from Maryland, proposed 
that the offending members be allowed an 
opportunity to apologize, as he felt sure they 
would both be ready to do so. Objecting to 
such mild treatment, Mr. Bowman introduced 
a resolution for the expulsion of Weaver and 
Sparks ^^for gross breach of the privileges, 
rules and decorum" of the House. A third 
suggestion came from Thomas M. Browne, a 
Republican from Indiana, for the appointment 
of a committee of three to investigate the con- 
duct of the two offenders and report to the 
House without delay ^^what proceedings should 
be taken, if any, to vindicate its dignity. ' ' 

After considerable discussion and contro- 
versy the last proposal, that of Mr. Browne, 
was adopted by a vote of ninety to forty-three. 
At this point Congressman 0. D. Conger, a 
Republican from Michigan, urged that the per- 
sons implicated should be given an opportunity 
to speak if they desired to do so ; by unanimous 
consent such leave was granted. 

General Weaver spoke first, expressed regret 
at his part in the incident, and said that there 



could not be ^^two opinions as to the propri- 
ety and necessity of an apology to the House 
for what took place yesterday. No one regrets 
the occurrence more deeply than I do myself. 
I know that I very rarely lose my temper at all 
either in public debate or in private life ; and I 
had not intended to do so yesterday. I can 
only say to the House what is understood by 
every member and by the country at large, that 
the language used by myself was wholly un- 
justifiable under the rules of this House and 
the proprieties of debate, and was entirely out 
of order. I am not only willing, but I am 
anxious, to say so to this House; I am sorry I 
used such language in the presence of the 
House ; and I make my apology. Such conduct 
is wholly unjustifiable. I certainly feel this as 
deeply as any other member. 

**I wish to say further that I had borne my- 
self through a long running debate, as I 
thought, with good nature; and the offensive 
language was used just before the close of my 
last remarks in reply to the gentleman from 
Missouri [Mr. Bland]. The occurrence was 
wholly unexpected at the time. I thought the 
whole difficulty was settled. 

^^I do not wish to raise at all any question as 
to who was to blame. I say that, whether I was 
to blame or some one else, or both to blame, our 
conduct was wholly unjustifiable as members of 


this body. I apologize to the House for my part 
of it, and ask to be excused. ' ^ 

Mr. Sparks then apologized in the same 
ample way. Mr. McLane tried to withdraw his 
proposition, but was not allowed to do so; Mr. 
Conger urged a vote on the amended resolution 
of Mr. Bowman; and Mr. Singleton of Illinois 
moved that the whole subject be laid upon the 
table. By a vote of 105 to 44, with 142 not 
voting the last proposal was adopted.^^^ 

Referring to this episode in Congress, The 
Iowa State Register expressed itself editorially 
as follows: **Gen. Weaver caught the eye and 
ear of the country again on Wednesday week. 
The Democrats were after him a long while 
before the General's patience gave out. But 
finally, after long badgering, and after one 
fellow had called him a liar, he became virtu- 
ously mad, told the fellow he was another, and 
pulled off his coat and descended upon him in a 
regular cavalry kind of charge. Mr. Sparks, 
who was the other fellow, seeing that there 
were several gentlemen ready to stop him, also 
advanced on the General. But the non-combat- 
ants finally persuaded the hot bloods not to do 
it, and they didn't. But we warn them not to 
presume on Gen. Weaver. He is a good Metho- 
dist, and likes peace as well as anybody, but 
then he was one of the Second Iowa men and so 
has the muscle and grit to take care of himself. 


We hope, though, the General will oblige his 
own State so much as not to do his fist-fighting 
in the halls of Congress. However, if he cannot 
avoid it without appearing cow^ardly, we want 
him to take care of himself. If it does come to 
that and he don't whip the other fellow, he need 
never come back to this State. ''^^* 

The funding bill was debated in the House at 
various times after the holidays until its pas- 
sage on January 19, 1881. General Weaver 
took part in the discussion frequently, repeat- 
ing his demands for the use of silver to pay the 
bondholders, opposing the refunding of the 
debt for a long period of years, and persisting 
in his hostility to the national banking system 
as fostering the money power. With great skill 
and the use of many parliamentary devices, he 
undertook to delay the passage of the bill, 
although he probably realized that eventually 
it would be put through in some form. It 
finally passed the House by a vote of 135 to 125, 
with 32 not voting. Later the House concurred 
in the Senate amendments, and the bill went to 
the President only to be vetoed by him.^^^ 

During this last session of his first term in 
Congress, General Weaver introduced only two 
bills — one for a pension, and the other *^to 
authorize the construction and equipment of a 
double-track steel railway from the city of New 
York, in the State of New York, to the city of 


Council Bluffs, in the State of Iowa.'' The 
pension bill was considered and passed by the 
House, but was lost in the Senate committee on 
pensions; the railroad bill was referred to the 
committee on railways and canals where of 
course it remained. 

Of the two resolutions introduced by General 
Weaver during the same session, one was a 
minority report from the committee on elec- 
tions, and the other was a proposed amendment 
to the Federal Constitution ^'providing for the 
election of Senators by vote of the people.'' 
Here, also, the only probable action was taken 
— namely, reference to the proper committee.^"*^ 

General Weaver's interest and reputation 
were also shown by the nature of the petitions 
presented by him. By far the largest number 
of them opposed the refunding of the public 
debt, and urged the payment of the same, if 
necessary, by an issue of legal-tender notes. A 
few asked for the passage of the Weaver Sol- 
dier Bill; and there were single petitions for 
legislation to regulate interstate commerce, to 
reserve the public lands exclusively for actual 
settlers, and to make the Commissioner of Agri- 
culture a member of the President's Cabinet.^**^ 

Another indication of General Weaver 's chief 
concern during his Congressional service is 
found by following his incidental remarks from 
time to time. He opposed the repeal of the bill 


providing for the use of stamps on bank-checks 
for it would reduce revenue and facilitate the 
funding of the debt, and the tax was levied upon 
persons who were as able to bear it as any 

He objected to an appropriation for negotia- 
tions with foreign governments with a view to 
the international remonetization of silver for he 
regarded the proposal as '^simply an attempt 
to bring about some kind of international agree- 
ment or quasi-legislation to be followed finally 
by an act of Congress by which the silver 
product of this country will be so manipulated 
that it will be impossible to pay it out for the 
public debt. For the purpose of placing this 
country, the greatest silver-producing country 
of the world, within the power of France, it will 
limit the amount of silver we shall have in circu- 
lation. '^^^^ 

In a discussion in regard to the appointment 
of managers for the national Home for Dis- 
abled Volunteer Soldiers, it appears that Gen- 
eral Weaver proposed the name of General 
Benjamin F. Butler upon whom he said that it 
was unnecessary for him to pronounce any 
eulogy. ^^The country knows him; history will 
embalm his name and fame. Not only that, but 
the disabled soldiers in the very institutions 
named .... have felt the beneficial effect 
of his great executive and administrative abil- 


ity. As to being non-partisan, there is not a 
man in America who can show such a non- 
partisan record as General Butler. "^^^ 

In a parliamentary tangle in the House over 
the re-apportionment of Representatives in 
Congress, General Weaver proposed that ^^the 
right and the left submit this matter to the arbi- 
tration of the center, and agree to abide by our 
action. We will act impartially. ' ' A member 
remarked that ^Hhat would be a fiat decision'', 
to which Weaver replied that ' ' it would be bet- 
ter than the House seems able to make."^^^ 

During this session Congress showed the 
effect of the results of the election of 1880. Be- 
fore that election both Republicans and Demo- 
crats had feared the possible strength of the 
Greenback party, and Weaver as one of the 
ablest of its leaders was treated with a consid- 
erable amount of respect. Afterwards the 
older party leaders felt their fears had been 
exaggerated and that there was no immediate 
danger of the formation of a strong third party. 
Consequently they treated Weaver with less 

The controversies of the campaign were also 
reflected in Congress, especially the bitterness 
of the Democrats against Weaver because of 
his opposition to fusion with them. They re- 
garded him as ungrateful for their assistance 
in his election to Congress. Hence their treat- 


ment of him and the charges and insinuations 
that finally led him to lose his temper after a 
long and trying debate.^^^ 

His leadership in a national way seems to 
have been pretty thoroughly established by the 
end of his first term in Congress. His nomina- 
tion to the Presidency in 1880 would suggest 
such a conclusion; but in numerous less striking 
ways it was plainly evident. His membership 
and service in Congress gave him national 
leadership, and from 1881 he was constantly in 
demand all over the country as a speaker and 
advocate of economic and social policies. 


Political Activity 


General Weaver's term in Congress and his 
candidacy for the Presidency in 1880 made him 
the leading exponent of Greenback principles 
in the United States. His well-known ability as 
a speaker and campaigner resulted in frequent 
demands for his services in different parts of 
the country. The months immediately follow- 
ing his retirement from Congress in 1881 were 
devoted to a campaign of education in the inter- 
ests of the Greenback party. Late in September 
he declared that since April he had spoken 
nightly to audiences of from two to ten thou- 
sand; and a month later he stated that since 
March he had delivered one hundred forty-nine 
speeches in thirteen States from Massachusetts 
to Kansas. ^^^ 

In June he spent over a week in Massachu- 
setts, speaking in Boston, Eeading, Lawrence, 
Newburyport, Danvers, Marblehead, Lynn, and 
Springfield. The tour was arranged by the 
State central committee of the National party, 
which tendered General Weaver a reception 



and a banquet at the Revere House, Boston, on 
Saturday afternoon, June 18th. Nearly one 
hundred persons from different parts of the 
State were present. 

General Weaver declared in his Boston ad- 
dress that the Greenback party was peculiar as 
an organization because it believed in ^^some- 
thing'' — a statement that could not be made of 
either of the old organizations. In his opinion 
^^the great task" before the new party was 
*Hhat of preserving and perpetuating free gov- 
ernment" in the United States. He pointed out 
how *Hhe agents of commerce — money, trans- 
portation and the transmission of intelligence 
— necessary to the welfare and prosperity of 
the republic had been wrenched from the hands 
of the people and given into the hands of soul- 
less corporations .... the old parties 
did not dare to champion the cause of the 
people. Only a party organized for the specific 
purpose of controlling corporations could ever 
accomplish the task .... Any party kept 
in power for twenty-five years will become cor- 
rupt. You might just as well keep a president 
in for twenty-five years as to keep a party in 
for that time. It is the same men that are con- 
trolling the party to-day that controlled it in 
1860, the same old rings, and that is the 
tendency everywhere now." He described the 
Greenback party as being in the period of tol- 


eration, after passing through the periods of 
ridicule and abuse. '^The greatest calamity 
that could have happened to the party would 
have been the election of your candidate last 

During the week he met Wendell Phillips by 
appointment at his home on Essex Street, 
Boston. *'The conversation covered a wide 
range of topics and embraced many pleasant 
reminiscences of the days when he and Gar- 
rison and Sumner stood side by side in the 
grand struggle for human liberty.'^ Compar- 
ing the conditions in 1880 with those of forty 
years before, Phillips pointed out that the per- 
sons engaged in reform had taken their stand 
as a result of ^^calm deliberation and firm con- 
viction'', while in ^'the anti-slavery fight'' they 
were ^ ^ pitched into the fight and hardly knew it 
until they were in the thickest of it." He was 
at that time busy with the address delivered a 
few days later at Harvard College upon the 
^^ Scholar in a Republic". The visit of General 
Weaver to Wendell Phillips is an indication 
that he sincerely believed that the reform move- 
ment in which he was engaged was similar to 
the movement in which the great abolitionist 
had had so important a part. 

Evidently General Weaver made a good im- 
pression during this week in Massachusetts for 
he was invited to return in October for two 


weeks. One paper described him as ^^a hand- 
some man and an orator of the true Western 
flavor '\ He was in ^*good voice, full of his 
favorite topic, and said his say with an empha- 
sis indicating his heart to be in the work. His 
remarks were listened to with rapt attention. 
The good points, clinched with apposite anec- 
dote or burst of eloquence or sarcasm, had the 
seal of applause evidently born of conviction. 
As a whole the lecture was instructive, eloquent 
and convincing. The expose of the inner work- 
ings of the national bank system was probably 
the clearest and best ever given by any orator 
of this persuasion, in this city. The brief ref- 
erence to anti-monopoly was timely, and indi- 
cates the position of this party in reference to 
the more than Trojan struggle involved, which 
impends in the near future in this country. The 
address was well calculated to confirm the 
faithful and to make converts. ''^^^ 

During the months of July and August it 
appears that General Weaver delivered twenty- 
six speeches in Kansas *4n the midst of 
drought and hot winds, with the mercury from 
104 to 110 in the shade. ^^ The meetings were 
usually attended by from three to five thousand 
people; and the addresses dwelt upon the duty 
and prospects of the Greenback party, the hope- 
less condition of the two major parties, and the 
injustice of the national debt. The speaker 


summarized Greenback policies as follows : 
''We want three kinds of money. Gold, silver 
and paper, and all issued by the Government, 
and not by the national banks. We want bank 
notes taken up and greenbacks in place of them. 
We want to put gags in the mouths of the rail- 
road monopolies, and compel them by law to 
carry you and your products for a fair re- 
muneration .... We want every man to 
have the fruits of his labor. How are you going 
at it? 1. Let the Government call in all na- 
tional-bank notes, and issue greenbacks in their 
place. 2. Pay oif the bonds in legal tender 
Government notes. And if they won't have 
them, God Almighty has hid away in the bowels 
of the earth silver enough to pay the balance in 
coin, if they want it. If they insist upon coin, 
let them back up their cart and take it. No 
Greenbackers want to issue greenbacks in un- 
limited amount. It is an old, revamped lie to 
say we do, but we do say that the Executive 
and the representatives of the people know 
their wants better than a few favored individ- 
uals working for their own interests. ''^^^ 

During 1882 General Weaver campaigned 
less extensively throughout the country since 
he was personally engaged in the canvass in 
Iowa as a candidate for Congress in the sixth 
district. He was the leader of his party in the 
State, but there was considerable opposition to 


him among the more extreme Greenbackers, 
who resented his willingness to fuse with the old 
parties and who were jealous of his wide in- 
fluence and popularity. One of them declared 
*^that he was tired of Weaverism, into which 
the remnant of the Greenback party in Iowa 
had changed, and that he should vote the Re- 
publican ticket '\ The Democrats, too, charged 
him with the defeat of Hancock in 1880, and 
accused him of being the active ally of the Re- 
publicans. They described him as having ^* de- 
serted distinct Greenback ground'', and passing 
*'as an anti-monopolist .... a sham re- 
former, a sort of $25 a day reformer, who 
sticks his finger into the spigot but refuses to 
investigate the bung.'' 

Under the circumstances, therefore, it proved 
impossible to arrange for fusion as in 1878. 
The Republicans, the Democrats, and the Green- 
backers each nominated a candidate in the 
sixth district ; and the same situation existed in 
the seventh and eighth districts. In the only 
district in Iowa — the fourth — where fusion 
was adopted, the Greenback candidate, L. H. 
Weller, was elected. The Greenback candi- 
dates took second place in the sixth and eighth 
districts, while Gillette, with such a strong com- 
petitor as Kasson in the seventh, ran only 
about nine hundred votes behind the Demo- 
cratic candidate. It seems reasonable to infer 


that "Weaver would liave carried his district 
easily, had it been possible to arrange for 
fusion. The official returns gave him 8,569 
votes as compared with 11,250 votes for the 
Eepublican candidate and 8,040 votes for the 
Democratic candidate. A fusion of Democrats 
and Greenbackers would have given Weaver 
16,609 votes, two hundred forty-three more 
than he received in 1878. The Republican 
candidate in 1882 actually received over 3000 
votes less than the same party candidate re- 
ceived in 1878. 

The same methods of campaigning were used 
in 1882 that had brought success in 1878. Ac- 
cording to The Iowa State Register the work 
began in March in the sixth and seventh dis- 
tricts. Reference was made to the statement 
of General Weaver that he had already raised 
$10,000, and that he was going to increase it to 
$50,000. Evidently the Republicans feared 
General Weaver as a campaigner, and tried by 
every means to weaken him in the estimation of 
the voters.^^'^' 

In the election of 1882 Congressman Mar- 
cellus E. Cutts, the Republican candidate who 
had been Weaver's antagonist in the joint de- 
bates in 1877, was successful. But Cutts died 
soon after his reelection — before, indeed, he 
had actually taken his seat in Congress. The 
Republican district committee sent a ^'distiri- 


guished ex-congressman" to Weaver with the 
proposition that, if he would announce himself 
as an independent candidate for the vacancy 
upon his own platform, they w^ould not nomi- 
nate a candidate against him. He might advo- 
cate on the stump and in Congress just what he 
had been advocating as an independent. The 
only promise they required of him was that 
when elected he should enter the Republican 
Congressional caucus. This proposal was made 
to Weaver at the Savery Hotel in Des Moines : 
it was promptly declined with the statement 
that if it ever seemed his duty to return to the 
Republican party he would do it without 

The same offer was again made to Weaver by 
a ** distinguished army comrade and was again 
declined. The whole conversation between my- 
self and these gentlemen would be illuminating. 
. . . . The republican party .... had 
adopted a prohibition platform and the leaders 
were fearful of defeat. I received a telegram 
on Saturday to ^Come to Mount Pleasant, im- 
portant'. I replied that I could not as I had an 
appointment to speak in Missouri the next day 
but would be at home at Bloomfield on Sabbath 
and that the party could either see me there or 
write. When I reached home I received a letter 
requesting me to meet a very dear friend, an 
ex-United States Senator at Albia at midnight 


the Monday following; that he would be in the 
Pullman car on the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy railroad. I met him in obedience to 
that telegram and rode with him to Chariton. 
This gentleman stated that the republican state 
committee had requested him to come and make 
to me the following proposition: If I would 
come back into the republican party I could 
have any position I might desire and at the first 
opportunity that offered. That I could have his 
old place in the United States senate or any 
place I might want. I replied that I could not, 
with the convictions that I then entertained 
concerning public policy, accept the proposition 
and maintain my self-respect and hence was 
compelled to decline absolutely. He said he had 
told them there was no use making the effort 
but they had insisted so hard that he yielded to 
their importunity. Let it be remembered that 
the republican machine in those days could de- 
liver the goods and set up one man and pull 
down another, just when they pleased. ''^^"^ 

These offers made in 1883 indicate very 
plainly how Weaver was regarded by his for- 
mer party associates, and how anxious they 
were to induce him to return to the Republican 
fold six years after his departure therefrom. 

In August, 1882, General Weaver wrote Gov- 
ernor H. M. Plaisted of Maine that ^Hhe ex- 
treme urgency of the work'^ in Iowa made it 



impossible for him to visit Maine as he had 
been invited to do and as he had intended. He 
expressed his hearty endorsement of Governor 
Plaisted and saw no reason why, because of his 
nomination by the Democrats, any member of 
the national Greenback Labor party should 
hesitate to give him unqualified support. 
**When monopolies combine to crush out liberty 
and rob the people, shall not good men associate 
in self defence! Fusion between organizations 
whose creeds are contrary is hateful. It smacks 
of spoils. Honest men will shun it. But co- 
operation on the part of patriotic people who 
believe alike is commendable when resorted to 
to avert a common danger. In Maine, however, 
both our ticket and our principles have been 
alike accepted by the Democrats. What more 
can be asked! ''^^^ 

Although giving close attention to the Green- 
back campaign in Iowa in 1882, General Weaver 
also kept in view the prospects of the party in 
the nation. Early in the year he had written 
ten letters to leading Democrats in the South 
and West, proposing a coalition between the 
Greenbackers and the Democrats. Among the 
Democrats written to was Daniel W. Voorhees 
of Ohio. If the Democrats would endorse the 
principles of the Greenback party, arrange- 
ments might be easily made about offices. Pre- 
dictions of Republican defeat in the next presi- 


dential election were freely made, based upon 
this combination. ^^^ The result of the election 
of 1884 proved that General Weaver's political 
judgment as to the possibilities of a combina- 
tion of the Democrats and Greenbackers was 
not unfounded. The opposition of a group of 
Independents to the Republican candidate and 
their support of Cleveland caused the election 
of the Democratic candidate. How much more 
decisive might have been the victory if the 
wide-spread sentiment represented by the 
Greenback party could have been definitely 
allied with the Democratic party ! 

General Weaver's political insight appre- 
hended the opportunity for a coalition which 
would have anticipated by many years the later 
developments in American social politics. The 
elections of 1896, 1912, and 1916 might have 
been preceded by one in 1884 which would have 
made the later struggles unnecessary. A more 
sympathetic and discerning candidate than 
Cleveland might have made the work of Bryan 
and Roosevelt and Wilson easier, and our poli- 
tics might be free from much of the confusion 
that now exists. Probably the situation was 
not ripe for such developments: possibly Gen- 
eral Weaver was too far in advance of his con- 
temporaries to get concrete results. 

The campaign of 1883 was ^'one of the most 
hotly contested ever known in the State": it 


illustrated 'Svhat a genuine brand of Hawkeye 
politics looks like".^^^ General Weaver took 
an active part in this contest as the candidate 
of the Greenbackers for Governor. The un- 
usual feature of the canvass was a series of 
joint debates between the Eepublican and Dem- 
ocratic candidates for Governor; eleven meet- 
ings were held, beginning August 29th and 
ending October 3rd. The request of the Green- 
back party to have its candidate included was 
refused by the Republican party because of the 
undue length of the meetings that would result, 
and also because there was no wide variance 
between the two parties comparable to that be- 
tween the Eepublican and Democratic parties. 
General Weaver, however, was not entirely 
left out of the joint discussions, since a series 
of appointments was made for him '4n the 
evenings of the same days and at the same 
places'' where the two other candidates were 
to speak in the afternoon. This gave him the 
advantages of large audiences without the dis- 
advantages of limited time to which the other 
speakers were held. Probably a large propor- 
tion of the seventy-five thousand persons, who 
heard the speeches of the two leading candi- 
dates, remained to hear General Weaver. Un- 
usually full reports of these meetings were 
published by the newspapers, and it was esti- 
mated that they were ^^read by over a million 


readers''. Such a campaign marks a real gain 
in democratic discussion of public questions. 

At the first meeting, which was held at Inde- 
pendence, General Weaver occupied a seat on 
the grand stand and was ^^ greeted by a pleas- 
ant cheer". At the close of the joint debate, he 
asked the privilege of making a statement to 
the audience, in regard to a personal matter, 
which was granted by the Democratic candi- 
date, Mr. Kinne; but the chairman of the Re- 
publican State committee said: ^^ Weaver sit 
down, this is our meeting." The Eepublicans 
tried to get up a joint debate between General 
Weaver and Colonel W. P. Hepburn, but failed 
because Weaver refused to debate with any 
candidate not of equal rank. Then the Repub- 
licans announced that Hepburn would speak 
after Weaver. In the evening the crowd again 
assembled in the same place in which the meet- 
ing in the afternoon had been held. Weaver 
there announced that ^Hhis is my meeting and 
no Republican shall speak from this platform 
this evening, and there are a thousand men in 
this audience who will see that he don't." 
There was intense excitement for a few min- 
utes, but that soon passed away, and Weaver 
spoke three hours and closed in spite of re-* 
quests to continue. 

The Republicans continued to urge a joint 
debate between Colonel Hepburn and General 


Weaver at the second meeting, but it was de- 
clined for the same reasons. At several places 
Colonel Hepburn held opposition meetings in 
the evening, but after the fifth meeting at 
Atlantic they were given up : they were never 
very satisfactory or successful. General 
Weaver's meetings were all largely attended, 
and frequently the quarters proved entirely 
inadequate to accommodate all who wished to 
hear him. General Weaver was characterized 
in the reports of these meetings as '^prominent 
for his dramatic powers, his fine presence, his 
ability to work on the sympathy of his audi- 
ence, and his wit. "^^*^ 

But of a total of 327,233 votes, General 
Weaver received 23,089 — a loss of over 5000 
from the Greenback vote of 1881. The com- 
bined Democratic and Greenback vote was 
163,121, less by 974 than that for the Republican 
candidate. Governor Sherman received 164,095 
votes in 1883 as compared with 133,328 Repub- 
lican votes in 1881. The Democratic vote in- 
creased from 73,344 in 1881 to 140,032 in 1883. 
The total vote cast in 1883 exceeded that of 
1881 by 92,181.^^2 g^th old parties showed 
decided gains, which indicated that the Green- 
' backers were resuming their old party rela- 
tions. Under such circumstances even such an 
effective campaigner as General Weaver could 
not hope to stem the tide. The Democrats were 


destined to reap the first political results of the 
protests of the Greenbackers. 

The principal topic of discussion among the 
Greenbackers of Iowa in 1884 was in regard to 
fusion with the Democrats, since it was becom- 
ing apparent to all but the extremists that 
practical results could be obtained in no other 
way. General Weaver advocated fusion strong- 
ly, and it was adopted by the State convention 
by a vote of two hundred twenty-five to eighty- 
eight. Fusion arrangements covered presiden- 
tial electors as well as State officers. The 
majority for Blaine was less than 20,000 — the 
smallest vote for a Republican candidate since 
1860. Politically the Congressional delegation 
stood seven Eepublicans and four fusion. 
Weaver was the only Greenbacker among the 
Congressmen elected, the others being Demo- 

It was as one of the delegates at large from 
Iowa that General Weaver went to the National 
Greenback Convention which met at Chicago in 
May, 1884. His colleagues were L. H. Weller, 
E. II. Gillette, and W\ S. Kenworthy. Indeed, 
Weaver was the permanent chairman of the 
convention which nominated Benjamin F. 
Butler for President upon the first ballot. It 
is probable that Weaver favored Butler because 
in 1880 he regarded him as the best man for the 
Greenbackers to nominate since there was good 


reason to hope that the election might be thrown 
into the House of Eepresentatives, in which 
event the Democrats would vote for Butler in 
preference to a Republican. In his last service 
as Congressman in 1881 he had referred to 
Butler in eulogistic terms. ^^^ 

Again in 1885 fusion with the Democrats was 
the main subject of discussion in the Greenback 
State convention. General Weaver favored 
fusion as he had in the preceding year, making 
the most effective speech in support of it. He 
described himself as tied to no party and favor- 
ing cooperation with the Democrats to over- 
throw the Republicans. He asked the minority 
opposed to fusion to give it a trial. Having 
followed the politics of the State for twenty-five 
years, he was confident that fusion would carry 
the State that year. He predicted that fusion 
would secure a Greenback Lieutenant Governor 
and State Superintendent, with an anti-monop- 
oly Governor and Judge ; and there was a possi- 
bility that they might secure a whole Greenback 
ticket. Weaver was made permanent chairman 
of the convention, and a motion to nominate 
only two candidates, unless the Democratic 
candidates proved unsatisfactory, was adopted 
by a vote of STQi/s to 112i/2.^«^ 

The election resulted in the choice of the Re- 
publican candidate for Governor, William 
Larrabee, by a plurality of about 7000.i«« The 


results of the elections of 1884 and 1885 showed 
that Weaver's expectations for the success of 
fusion were by no means unfounded. To reduce 
the Eepublican plurality from 50,000 to less 
than 10,000 in a State like Iowa was no mean 
achievement; but its significance was neglected 
because it did not lead to a successful issue. It 
was really a local manifestation of the same 
forces that brought about the Eepublican defeat 
in the nation in 1884. Weaver's advocacy of 
fusion in these years was a proof of his political 
insight and judgment: he had a keen eye for 
practical results — a power not usually com- 
bined with the qualities that make up a pioneer 
and reformer. 

In these near victories of 1884 and 1885 
General Weaver's part was fully appreciated 
by some of his Democratic allies. The Des 
Moines Leader described him as ^^not only the 
most effective speaker" but *^one of the best 
organizers in the state .... with the 
help of two more such men we should have car- 
ried the state by a nice majority. He has the 
gratitude and the warm esteem of every demo- 
crat in the state. " ^^"^ 


Ketukn to Congeess 


The Forty-ninth Congress in which Weaver 
took his seat on December 7, 1885, was com- 
posed of one hundred eighty-three Democrats, 
one hundred forty Republicans, and two Na- 
tionalists. The candidates for Speaker were 
John G. Carlisle of Kentucky and Thomas B. 
Reed of Maine. Weaver voted for the majority 
candidate, and received committee appoint- 
ments as a member of the committe on labor, 
and as chairman of the committee on expendi- 
tures in the Interior Department. The first 
session of this Congress lasted from December 
7, 1885, to August 5, 1886.i^« 

In the sixth district the opposing Republican 
candidate, Frank T. Campbell, contested the 
election of Weaver on the ground ^Hhat 81 
illegal votes were cast for the contestee by per- 
sons incompetent as electors, and that there 
were some errors in the count, amounting to 
perhaps half a dozen more''. It was also 
claimed that in one township in Mahaska 
County, there were one hundred fifty ballots 



received from electors in violation of the regis- 
try law of Iowa, and that sixty other votes were 
cast in another township in the same county in 
violation of the same law. General Weaver 
denied all these allegations, and charged that 
there were ^'some 50 illegal votes cast for the 
contestant; that some of the persons casting 
these votes were bribed and others were colon- 
ized from adjacent regions of the country^'. 
Since the majority for Weaver was only sixty- 
seven votes, these charges, if sustained, would 
have deprived him of his seat. 

The committee of the House of Representa- 
tives reported that, after careful examination 
of the evidence, they had excluded from the 
vote of the contestee sixteen ballots as illegal, 
and from the vote of the contestant ^^some 35 
ballots'' for the same reason. According to 
the opinion of the committee ^*the sole question 
involved in the contest" related ^^to the affi- 
davits upon which more than 200 voters were 
allowed to vote.'' The question was ^'purely a 
legal one", and depended upon ^Hhe proper 
construction of the registry law of the State of 
Iowa. ' ' 

In one of the townships v/here the registry 
board was Republican, the evidence disclosed 
*^ clearly that there was an attempt to manipu- 
late improperly the registry-list for the pur- 
pose of depriving Democratic electors" of their 


right to vote. The evidence was *^ uncontra- 
dicted that out of a voting population of 800, 
25 per cent., nearly all of them Democrats, were 
purposely left off the registry-list. Men who 
had voted there for years, old and reputable 
citizens, were omitted, and on the day of the 
election were so indignant and humiliated at 
the neglect and impropriety involved in their 
being left off the list that they absolutely ab- 
stained from voting. ' ' About one hundred fifty 
of those left off the list prepared affidavits; 
one hundred and three gave as reasons for their 
names not appearing ^' neglect'^ and *^left off 
the registry-list '' ; while thirty-one others left 
blank the space where the reason should have 
been inserted. It was upon these affidavits that 
the contestant based his claims to the seat. 

The majority of the committee concluded that 
the statute of Iowa left the matter to the dis- 
cretion of the judges of election, and that after 
the vote had been received there was no power 
that could review or reconsider the action. The 
only basis for a contest, thereafter, would be 
whether the voters were legally qualified and 
competent electors. There was no question but 
that these citizens were, and it was ''the barest 
and most complete technicality .... that 
was ever made the basis of such a claim either 
in a court or a legislative body".^^^ 

The majority of the committee reported — 


only three of the six Republican members dis- 
senting — that Weaver was entitled to his seat, 
and when the vote was taken there were not 
exceeding six men who voted in the negative. 
Among those who voted in favor of Weaver 
* Vere the leaders on the Republican side of the 
House. They did not feel there was anything 
in the legal points or the facts sought to be 
made against'' him.^"^^ 

As in his first term of service in Congress, 
Weaver's chief interest was in money and 
finance, which he regarded as the ^^one great 
question of the world ".^^^ His longest speech 
was delivered in February, 1886, under the title 
of The Conspiracy and the Re-action, in w^hich 
he reviewed the history of the monetary system 
during and since the Civil War. 

He declared that '^the present great duty" of 
Congress was ^'to establish once for all an ade- 
quate, permanent financial system ' ' that should 
*^ serve as a basis for economic prosperity . . 
. . a system under which there shall be no 
privileged classes, and under which the rights 
of the humble laborer and the capitalist shall 
be alike secure. It will not be pretended that 
w^e even approximate to this condition at 
present. ' ' 

In his opinion there were ^Hwo ever-present 
disturbing forces connected with our monetary 
system — the public debt and the national 


banks. They are the evil outgrowths of the 
Civil War, and the nation will ever be in peril 
until they are swept out of existence. The hos- 
tility of the national banks to silver coinage is 
only one phase of a conspiracy which had its 
origin in the early stages of the Civil War, and 
which has never yet been overthrown. The re- 
bellion was overthrown, but this conspiracy 
never has been ; and it will require all the power 
of the country, now happily reunited, to uproot 
it. It has grown with our growth and strength- 
ened with our strength until to-day it defies the 
law and the power of the Government. I pro- 
pose to trace some of the features of this con- 
spiracy and of the reaction in public sentiment 
which is now in progress.'' 

Weaver explained how gradually the con- 
spiracy developed which gave control of the 
currency to the banks. The main objects were 
^^to place the public debt beyond the possibility 
of payment, to increase its amount, and to se- 
cure for all time the right and power to control 
the volume of money. ' ' The conspiracy to pre- 
vent Congress from paying the debt in the *^ cur- 
rency of the contract" began in 1867, and was 
the purpose of the war against silver. Silver 
was demonetized ^^by stealth" in 1873, and the 
act for the resumption of specie payments, 
passed in 1875, also provided for the destruc- 
tion of the greenback currency. ''It was to be 


redeemed in gold coin, and the coin was to be 
obtained by a new issue of interest-bearing 
long-time bonds, thus destroying our non- 
interest-bearing currency by converting it into 
interest-bearing debt.'' The result was to fill 
the country ' ' on the one hand with wrecked for- 
tunes, suicides, helpless poverty, and broken 
hearts, and on the other with exceptional indi- 
vidual fortunes, some of them so monstrous in 
magnitude as to be quite beyond the grasp of 
the human intellect. ' ' 

Continuing Weaver declared that ''the his- 
tory of this struggle between the people and the 
confederated monopolies, like every other sim- 
ilar struggle through which we have been called 
to pass, proves that the confidence reposed in 
the people by the framers of our Government 
w^as not misplaced. The waves first arose, so to 
speak, on this vast ocean of human sufferers, 
and God is still lashing it into fury for the pur- 
pose of purifying the waters. The year 1876 
witnessed the organization of a small body of 
earnest and patriotic men under the leadership 
of the venerable Peter Cooper. ' ' 

The Bland Act of 1878 was ''first blood for 
the people". It was followed in the same year 
by the law that stopped further destruction of 
the greenbacks, and this legislation in turn was 
followed by resolutions which declared it to be 
the right of the Government to pay all its obli- 


gations in standard silver dollars. These gains 
were only partial, because the Bland Act pro- 
vided for the issue of only $2,000,000 worth of 
silver per month, and the Treasury department 
had been in the hands of the conspirators, and 
had defied the efforts of the people in favor of 
silver. The greenback, however, had become 
permanently incorporated into the financial 
system and its constitutional status had been 
fixed by the Supreme Court. ^^This was the 
second victory for the people in this protracted 
struggle. ' ' 

^^The year 1884 brought about a great 
change. To use a homely illustration, in No- 
vember of that year the people took hold of 
Uncle Sam's wagon, lifted it out of its old ruts 
and out of the mire, unhitched the old team, 
hooked on a fresh one, and changed drivers. 
Now why not move out on the high lands 1 Why 
return to the miserable old ruts from which, 
with great difficulty, we have been extricated T' 

Weaver's conclusions, based upon this survey 
of events, were that in the matter of finance 
four things must be done by Congress in order 
to relieve the conditions of trade, labor, and 

^^ Congress must provide for the unrestricted 
coinage of American silver into standard silver 
dollars on private account. 

'^A law must be passed to issue Treasury 


notes to take the place of bank notes as fast as 
they are retired. The banks are now retiring 
their circulation, as is well known, with great 
rapidity. This vacuum must be filled or busi- 
ness, now sorely languishing, will absolutely 

*'The larger portion of the surplus now in 
the Treasury must be paid out in liquidation 
of interest-bearing public debt now subject to 

^*We must forbid by law any further discrim- 
inations against our silver coin.'^ 

In Weaver's judgment these propositions 
were reasonable. They did not involve the in- 
flation of paper currency — the thing that 
frightened so many people. The only increase 
would be an increase of specie. He predicted 
that a refusal to adopt these proposals would 
meet 'Svith condign and wrathful retribution 
from the country." 

Toward the close of his speech he referred 
briefly to some other measures that he believed 
Congress ought to adopt as promptly as pos- 
sible. He would guard every acre of the public 
domain as the apple of the eye, and forfeit 
every land grant where the equities are not 
clearly with the grantee. He would organize 
unoccupied territory, and let the homeless 
families have where to lay their heads. He 
would place the remnant of the Indian tribes 



upon a reasonable area, and open ^^the remain- 
der to civilized men, to law, to the church, and 
to the school-house, instead of to the cattle 
syndicates and corporations, either foreign or 
domestic^'. He would give to the people fair 
rates of transportation, and fair facilities for 
getting their surplus to market. 

In conclusion Weaver declared that the rea- 
son why so little progress had been made is 
seen in the fact that for twenty years every 
branch of the government had been in the grasp 
of monopoly. ^'When the people ask for an 
adequate system of finance commensurate with 
the wonderful energies of the nation, the bank- 
ing corporations forbid it. When they ask for 
a postal telegraph, another powerful corpora- 
tion forbids that. When they ask that the cost 
of transportation may be cheapened, another 
liydra-headed being, more terrible than the 
apocalyptic beast, rises up out of the land in- 
stead of out of the sea. When the people want 
cheap fuel and light, a confederation of monop- 
olists show their teeth. When they ask that 
their burdens of taxation may be lightened by 
transferring a portion to the wealthy classes 
through a graduated income tax, why then those 
who have been shirking their share of the public 
burdens rise up and declare with one voice that 
such taxes are odious. When the whole coun- 
try cries out for silver, up jumps a triple power, 


composed of the national banks, gold specula- 
tors, and holders of Government bonds, backed 
by all the aristocracies of Europe, and they cry 
out with united voice, ^ Oh, the silver dollar is a 
dishonest dollar, it is only worth eighty 
cents !^ ''^'^ 

In July it appears that Congressman Weaver 
spoke for ten minutes upon a resolution, requir- 
ing the Secretary of the Treasury to disburse 
monthly in payment of the public debt all sur- 
plus money in excess of $100,000,000 — a dis- 
bursement that must be in sums of not less than 
$10,000,000 per month.^^^ j^ opening his re- 
marks he referred humorously to the presump- 
tion of a man who did not live in New York 
having any opinion upon the subject. Perhaps 
the common people ought to defer to the judg- 
ment of New York, he said, but *'we shall have 
to discuss it for a few minutes anyhow. ' ' 

In his opinion the resolution was mild and 
conservative, for he believed that the govern- 
ment could safely pay out twice as much as 
would be paid out and then have money to 
spare. Nevertheless he favored it because it 
directed the payment of the public debt and 
established that as a policy. ^'This, of course, 
will undermine the national banks and direct 
public opinion to the great question of what 
shall be the permanent currency of the Re- 


^ ' The payment of these 3 per cent, bonds will 
be followed by contraction of national-bank cir- 
culation, but not to an extent greater than the 
amount paid out on the bonds. There will be a 
saving of the interest which we are now paying 
on the 3 per cents. I shall vote for the resolu- 
tion, but I wish to amend it so as to define what 
is meant by * surplus or balance', and also so as 
to require the disbursement of all surplus 
money in the Treasury in excess of $50,000,000. 
I think this is enough and more than is needed 
as a working balance and to satisfy the halluci- 
nation that possibly some one may want at some 
future time to present a few greenbacks to be 
exchanged for coin.'*^^^ 

Later when the resolution came before the 
House again as a conference report and in a 
still more conservative form General Weaver 
announced his intention of voting against it. 
The original resolution having passed the 
House by a three-fourths vote, he characterized 
the action of the House members of the confer- 
ence committee as a ** cowardly surrender'*. 
After its passage by the House he said that 
**Wall street issued its decree. A caucus was 
called of gentlemen belonging in the other 
House of Congress, at the home of a former 
Secretary of the Treasury, and in that caucus 
the House resolution as amended by the Senate 
and substantially as finally reported by the 


committee of conference was agreed upon".^^^ 
How Weaver would apply his financial prin- 
ciples concretely is shown by the bills he intro- 
duced and the amendments proposed by him to 
measures before the House. On December 21, 
1885, he offered two bills and a resolution upon 
financial subjects : one bill provided for the free 
and unrestricted coinage of the silver dollar; 
the other bill provided for the issue of silver 
certificates on the deposit of standard silver 
dollars; while the resolution instructed the 
Secretary of the Treasury to apply the lawful 
money in the Treasury to the payment of an 
equal amount of the interest-bearing public 
debt.i^^ On January 11, 1886, he offered a bill 
to retire bank-notes and to prevent fluctuations 
of the currency by substituting treasury notes 
in place of bank notes, and also a bill to provide 
for the issue of fractional paper currency. ^"^"^ 
Six months later, on July 21, 1886, he offered an 
amendment to the sundry civil appropriation 
bill to the effect that no portion of the appropri- 
ations should be expended for printing United 
States notes of large denomination in place of 
notes of a small denomination cancelled or 

During July he took an active part in a de- 
bate as to the right of the Secretary of the 
Treasury to alter the denominations of the 
United States notes. He claimed that the law 


of 1878 forbade the changing of the denomina- 
tions of notes that were outstanding at the time 
of its passage, while his opponents maintained 
that the matter was left to the discretion of the 
Secretary of the Treasury. In addition there 
arose a controversy between the advocates of 
greenbacks and silver. Congressman Bland of 
Missouri urged that the greenbacks were kept 
in circulation by law", while there was discrim- 
ination against silver. He favored a provision 
for the issue of one and two dollar coin certifi- 
cates to force silver into circulation. He would 
not issue legal tender notes under twenty dol- 
lars, thus making room for one and two dollar 
coin notes issued upon silver. 

General Weaver replied that Bland's posi- 
tion was not tenable. He discussed the question 
as if there were a sufficient amount of money in 
circulation, and as though the question was 
whether there should be greenbacks or silver. 
He gave the gentleman from Missouri notice 
that he was just as good a silver man as he was ; 
but if the fight was between the greenback and 
silver, he was for greenbacks. A better way to 
get silver into circulation would be to pay it out 
on the public debt. He favored the greenback 
because it was far more convenient. There was 
no need of conflict. There was ample room 
**for the circulation of all the gold we can get, 
and all the silver that will come to us, and of all 


the greenbacks now authorized by law, and a 
great deal more.'^ He knew that he had been 
considered by some people as rather extreme in 
his notions of finance, but he had ^'always been 
in favor of gold, silver, and paper money, all 
issued by the Government and all full legal 
tender and properly limited in amount. '' ^'^^ 

At this session General Weaver again intro- 
duced a bill for the relief of soldiers and sailors 
such as he had urged during his first term in 
Congress — a bill that had come to be known as 
the Weaver Soldier Bill. The measure pro- 
posed to restore to those who had fought in the 
Civil War equal rights with the holders of gov- 
ernment bonds, which meant that the soldiers 
should be paid the difference in value between 
the depreciated paper in which they had been 
paid and gold as had been done in the case of 
bond-holders. It embodied two great interests 
of its author — the soldiers and their claims 
and the monetary problems of the time. The 
bill, of course, never had any prospect even of 
consideration by Congress, although it repre- 
sented a demand that had a good deal of sup- 
port throughout the country. The obligations 
of the nation to the soldiers have been met by 
pensions rather than along the lines suggested 
by Weaver. He was the channel through which 
a good many petitions urging the passage of 
such a measure and of kindred leorislation for 


the relief of the soldiers and the common people 
reached Congress. ^^*^ 

The other subject to which Congressman 
Weaver gave extended consideration during his 
second term of service from 1885-1889 was that 
of the Indian policy — especially in connection 
with the opening of Oklahoma to settlement. 
On December 21, 1885, he offered a bill ^^to pro- 
vide for the organization of that part of the 
territory of the United States now known as 
*The Indian Territory' and the * Public Land 
Strip' into a Territory to be known as the Ter- 
ritory of Oklahoma, and to provide a temporary 
government for the same, for allotment of 
homesteads to the Indians in severalty, and to 
open unoccupied lands to actual settlers. "^^^ 

Weaver's general position as to Indian policy 
was stated on the floor of the House in January. 
He hoped the time was not far distant when the 
government would adopt a sensible policy to- 
ward the Indians. The uncivilized Indians 
were not self-supporting and never would be. 
They were chiefly found lying around agencies, 
dependent on the government for their support. 
They were allowed to occupy 134,000,000 acres 
of land, very little of which they cultivated, and 
there were but 260,000 Indians under the juris- 
diction of the United States. Gratuity appro- 
priations could only be justified on the ground 
that the Indians were the wards of the govern- 


ment. Let a policy be adopted that will make 
them citizens under such safeguards as will in- 
sure their proper protection and bring them in 
proper relations to the government and their 
white neighbors. ^^^ 

A substitute for Weaver's bill was reported 
by the committee on Territories late in March, 
recommitted and reported back in April, and 
debated on May 1st and June 3, 1886. Final 
action was not taken by the House during this 
session, and in the debate Weaver took part 
only occasionally by brief remark or question. 
His deep interest in the problem is further evi- 
denced by his participation in the discussion of 
an Indian policy in connection with other meas- 
ures, his most extended remarks being recorded 
on March 11, 1886, during the debate upon the 
Indian Appropriation Bill.^^^ 

General Weaver prefaced his discussion by 
the declaration that ^Hhe group of questions'' 
involved in the bill before the House was of the 
greatest importance because the relation which 
the various tribes of Indians sustained to the 
government of the United States had assumed 
in the past few years a new phase. When the 
government treated with the Indian tribes as 
separate and distinct peoples or nations, a dif- 
ferent rule obtained from that which must now 
be observed. Since 1871 the government had 
been in the relation of trustee of the estate of 


the Indian. It must manage the estate of its 
wards ^^with reference to two things: First, the 
interest of the ward ; second, the general inter- 
est of the people. '^ 

With these statements as a basis for action, 
Weaver turned to a consideration of the situa- 
tion in the Indian Territory, a map of which he 
had prepared and placed upon an easel in the 
House. He then pointed out the country occu- 
pied by what were known as the five civilized 
tribes; next the ^^ Oklahoma country, ceded to 
the United States by Creeks and Seminoles by 
the treaties of 1866"; what was known as ''the 
Cherokee outlet, or Cherokee strip", west of 
the territory of the five civilized tribes ; and the 
Public Land Strip, or No Man's Land, ceded by 
Texas in 1850, west of the Cherokee strip. 
West of Oklahoma and southwest were the res- 
ervations of the Cheyennes, the Arapahoes, the 
Wichitas, the Kiowas, the Comanches, and the 
Apaches. The territory contained 44,154,240 
acres of land, ''an area as great as that of the 
States of Iowa, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
and New Jersey combined, larger by 266,600 
acres than the seven states of Maine, New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut, New Jersey and Delaware." 

This vast territory possessed a delightful 
climate, unlimited resources, and a soil suited 
for the raising of all the cereals. In some por- 


tions cotton could be cultivated with profit, and 
its grazing and stock-raising resources were un- 
excelled. And yet this beautiful country was 
^^a block in the pathway of civilization''. It 
was preserved ^^to perpetuate a mongrel race 
far removed from the influence of civilized 
people — a refuge for the outlaws and indolent 
of whites, blacks, and Mexicans". It cost the 
government hundreds of thousands of dollars 
to peaceably maintain from sixty to eighty 
thousand Indians when the Territory was 
capable of supporting many millions of enlight- 
ened people. Prompt legislation by Congress 
was necessary to remove these conditions. 

Weaver then turned ^ ^ to a different branch of 
the question, the unoccupied portion" of the 
Territory. He used the word ^ ' unoccupied ' ' in 
the legal sense, meaning that the country was 
not occupied by any person having a legal right 
to be there, but he did not deny that there were 
trespassers in the Territory. If the Indians on 
reservations were given reasonable amounts of 
land per person or family and their holdings 
consolidated, there would remain in the Indian 
Territory ^'over 20,000,000 acres of unoccupied 
land, all available for settlement — an area 
nearly as large as the State of Indiana". This 
would not be an injustice to the Indians, for 
over a thousand acres could be given to each 
family, and still leave the 20,000,000 acres for 


settlement. Furthermore, he would not take 
these lands from the Indians without their con- 
sent, nor without compensation. ^'Be just to 
the Indian, be humane to him, but at the same 
time be humane and just to our own constitu- 
ents. ' ^ 

In the next place Weaver called attention to 
what he described as ' ' one of the most disgrace- 
ful chapters in the history of this whole contro- 
versy over the Indian Territory. ' ' He exhibited 
a map prepared by a cattle syndicate in 1883, 
showing the existing condition of the Cherokee 
strip. The syndicate that had this map pre- 
pared leased from the Cherokee tribe the entire 
strip containing over 6,000,000 acres. They 
agreed to pay $100,000 for the privilege of 
occupying that country mth their herds; and 
then they sub-leased it for about $500,000 per 
annum to different cattle companies — '^a net 
profit of $400,000 yearly to this syndicate which 
holds possession of the strip to the exclusion of 
white settlers, and in plain violation" of the 
laws of the United States. The names of the 
sublessees were significant; among them were 
the Dominion Cattle Company of Canada, the 
New York Cattle Company, and the Standard 
Oil Company. ^' These lessees are all pooled 
and it only costs about 28 cents to raise a steer 
until he is three years old. How can an honest 
farmer compete with that kind of thing? 


*'Now, I submit that the question is no longer 
whether the red man or the white man shall 
occupy this Cherokee strip. The white man 
already occupies it. He has been placed there 
by the Indian himself in violation of the law. 
The real battle is whether the poor man seek- 
ing a home, who has but a single yoke of oxen 
perhaps to draw his family to the Territory, 
shall have a right to go there taking with him 
his family, the church, and the school-house, or 
whether he shall be excluded by the rich foreign 
and domestic cattle syndicates that are there in 
violation of law. ' ^ 

In reply to questions Weaver stated that in 
the campaign in Iowa in 1885 he had believed 
that the administration had issued orders for 
the removal of the cattle syndicates, and that 
the orders were being honestly enforced, and 
he had so declared during his canvass. Later 
he learned with great regret that he was mis- 
taken in his belief. He had come to Washing- 
ton immediately after the inauguration of 
President Cleveland and had placed the whole 
matter before him, using the very map he had 
just shown to the House. The same facts and 
the same map had been placed before the Secre- 
tary of the Interior, to whom the occupancy of 
the territory by cattle syndicates was very 
objectionable and who signified his intention of 
expelling them as soon as possible. As soon as 


it was telegraphed west that Weaver and his 
companion, Hon. Sidney Clarke of Kansas, 
were in Washington asking justice for the set- 
tlers and opposing the rings and syndicates, 
*^the city swarmed with the paid attorneys and 
representatives of the cattle-men as it swarms 
now, and I met Senators who I believe to be 
interested in the cattle syndicates, and who 
stepped into the Department as I was retiring, 
and they spoke to me, introducing the subject 
in an offensive manner — at least one of them 
did so.'' 

Finally, Weaver protested against the opin- 
ion expressed in the House to the effect ^^that 
the poor men who assembled on the border of 
the Indian Territory, with a view of locating 
their families on lands in that Territory, were 
lawless men. They were from the States of 
Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Iowa, and to 
my personal knowledge a large majority of 
them were just as law-abiding men as this coun- 
try affords. When the President of the United 
States ordered them to leave the Territory they 
left. Not only that, but I protest against this 
assault upon those poor people when it is known 
that the cattle syndicates of this country are 

occupying that Territory in violation of 
law. "184 

In the debate upon the Indian Appropriation 
Bill a week later Weaver took part occasion- 


ally; and early in April he opposed the appoint- 
ment of an Indian commission ^Ho inspect from 
time to time'', as the Secretary of the Interior 
might require, ^ * the condition of the Indians of 
the various tribes and bands on the different 
reservations under the care, control, or juris- 
diction of the United States. ' ' He thought the 
desired information could be obtained by the 
existing machinery of the Indian bureau. Still 
later, in May, he opposed the proposed com- 
mission because of the great difficulty of finding 
suitable members to place upon it without tak- 
ing persons already engaged in the Indian ser- 
vice. He opposed the commission plan also 
because it would have power to remove Indians 
from the West, beyond the rain-belt, to the fer- 
tile portions of Oklahoma — what he called 
^^ blanket Indians'', who would have no use for 
tillable land and would keep out white settlers 
who would make good use of the land. He 
moved to strike out the section describing the 
powers and duties of the commission, but his 
motion was not agreed to. 

The bill was debated from time to time, but 
final action was not taken during the session. 
Evidently Weaver regarded this bill as antag- 
onistic to the bill for the organization of the 
Territory of Oklahoma, because when an effort 
was made the last day of the session to obtain 
unanimous consent to have it made a special 


order for the second day of the next session he 
said that he had no objection if the Oklahoma 
bill was made a special order for the first 
Thursday of the next session, and from day to 
day until disposed of. Adjournment was taken 
without action upon either of these requests. ^^^ 

Ideas on Indian policy and the organization 
of Oklahoma as a Territory entertained by 
General Weaver were closely allied with his 
opinions concerning the administration of the 
land laws — in fact all three subjects were 
viewed from the angle of the needs of the peo- 
ple. The key to his position upon public policies 
is to be found in his persistent spirit of democ- 
racy and its application to the concrete de- 
mands of the people. Money, banking, finance, 
Indian policy, and land laws were to be framed, 
passed, and administered in the interest of the 
rank and file. In his day and generation 
Weaver was the exponent of the fundamental 
democracy of the West. 

During June he took a brief part in the de- 
bate upon the repeal of the preemption laws. 
He supported the repeal *^ because the idea of 
giving to the homeless citizen a homestead is a 
humane one; but our public-land policy ought 
to be confined to that, and no one should be 
allowed to speculate in the common inheritance 
of all. This bill, as I understand, simply cuts 
out of our public-land system the idea of specu- 


lation; and that is right. The present law is 
the law of the speculator and not of the honest 
home-seeker. . . . The policy of this bill 
should have been adopted at the very cradle of 
the Republic, and not one-quarter section of the 
public lands should ever have been disposed of 
to corporations or speculators. It should have 
been sacredly held for homesteads. If this 
policy had obtained labor troubles would now 
be unknown and the scandalous legislation of 
the last few years would have been avoided. "^^^ 
Again, later in the same month he referred 
to the dishonest raids made upon the public 
domain by the cattle syndicates and land specu- 
lators. He protested against a land policy 
which enabled ^Hhe speculators to get hold of 
the virgin lands of the West to the exclusion of 
the poor settler who seeks to secure a home". 
He declared himself the friend of the ^^ Okla- 
homa boomer'' because he believed him to be 
*^a poor man honestly seeking a home upon the 
public domain''. The action of these honest 
home-seekers who obeyed the President's proc- 
lamation was very different from that of the 
cattle syndicates who had taken possession in 
violation of law. In answer to a question as to 
whether he was not the paid attorney of the 
^^ Oklahoma boomers", he replied that he was 
not, but that ^^on the contrary, without hope, 
expectation, or desire of any reward whatever" 



he had contributed, and would again contribute 
if necessary, money out of his own pocket to 
pay the expenses of those defenseless men who 
were on that border seeking to obtain homes. ^^"^ 

Early in July in another debate upon the 
repeal of the preemption law^s, he described two 
theories of public land policy as struggling for 
supremacy. One was presented by the bill 
under discussion as it passed the House, and 
the other by the Senate amendments to it. 
*^The House bill proceeds on the theory that all 
the remaining public domain should be held for 
settlement under the homestead laws in parcels 
not greater than 160 acres. Following and in 
harmony with that theory is the other bill, 
passed by the House, which appropriates money 
to enable the Land Department to discover and 
unearth the frauds that have been heretofore 
perpetrated in relation to the public domain. 
And following along third in order is the bill 
. . . . making appropriations for digging 
irrigating ditches in what are known as the 
arid regions of the public domain. 

^'Now, these three measures are in harmony, 
and constitute a well-defined theory .... 
First, preserve the public domain to actual set- 
tlers; next, unearth the frauds that have been 
perpetrated and appropriate money for that 
purpose ; third, when you reach the arid region 
appropriate money for irrigating ditches, so 


that when our population becomes crowded and 
there is no longer arable land within the rain 
belt you may enable the settler to go upon the 
arid region and raise crops by means of irriga- 
tion. This is the true and wise theory. 

^^Now, what is the theory represented by the 
Senate amendment? It is this: Validate the 
frauds that have been perpetrated upon the 
public domain ; allow what is known as the arid 
region to be taken up by cattle speculators and 
syndicates, and strike down the appropriation 
for the investigation of frauds, so the Land 
Office will be powerless to protect the inherit- 
ance of the people. Can this House hesitate 
which theory to adopt?" 

Finally, in the discussion Weaver called 
attention to the tendency toward large holdings 
and tenant farming in the United States. He 
declared that the census report of 1880 showed 
that the tendency was in that direction, instead 
of toward the division of land into small hold- 
ings as his opponents claimed. The tendency 
of the population was away from the country, 
and toward the city. According to the census 
the number of tenant farmers had increased 
enormously of late years: tenant farmers out- 
numbered the free-holders of the country. The 
tendency was to *' large holdings; whereas in a 
healthy condition of our land laws and of the 
Eepublic the tendency ought to lead from the 


city to the country, and the result should be 
small farms and high cultivation/'^*^ 

The third subject to which General Weaver 
gave considerable attention during this session 
of Congress was that of labor. One of his two 
committee appointments was upon the com- 
mittee of labor. On December 21, 1885, he 
introduced a bill *^to establish at the seat of 
Government an Executive Department to be 
known as the Department of Labor, with a Sec- 
retary of Labor'' at the head of it. This bill 
received no attention in the House during the 
session, simply being referred to the committee 
on labor, from which it was never reported. 
Many years later, in March, 1913, such a de- 
partment as Weaver proposed was finally 

During 1886 there was a series of strikes 
upon the railroads of the country, culminating 
in the so-called Southwestern Railway Strike 
upon the Gould system in the Southwest. Be- 
ginning in February, this strike spread until 
six thousand miles of railway were tied up and 
resulted in considerable violence. As a conse- 
quence of the outbreak an investigation was 
made by Congress and several bills were intro- 
duced for the purpose of '^ creating boards of 
arbitration for the speedy settlement of contro- 
versies and differences between common car- 
riers engaged in interstate and Territorial com- 


merce or business and their employes ''. Presi- 
dent Cleveland called attention to the situation 
in a special message to Congress on April 23rd 
in which he recommended a commission on 
labor of three members to be ^^ charged among 
other duties with the consideration and settle- 
ment, when possible, of all controversies be- 
tween labor and capital." He suggested that 
this commission ^^ could easily be ingrafted 
upon" the Bureau of Labor by the addition of 
two more commissioners and by the necessary 
extension of the powers of the commission- 

Weaver's most extensive discussion of the 
questions involved in these measures occurred 
on March 31, 1886, when he submitted his 
views upon the merits of the bills, and upon the 
situation to which they were intended to apply. 
He stated frankly that he was opposed to all 
legislation with regard to existing strikes be- 
cause it would not be effective. Incidentally he 
remarked that compulsory arbitration, which 
he described as *^a misnomer", could not settle 
such difficulties. He declared that he was ^'not 
a believer in the power of legislation to cure 
the evils to which society is heir — I mean 
direct legislation." He was a believer in the 
kind of legislation that would create conditions 
out of which prosperity might be evolved, and 
under which evils might die away. He declared 


that the primary causes for the present dis- 
content were the result of the neglect by Con- 
gress ^^to make suitable provision to preserve 
the prosperity of the Republic^'. 

In pointing out the necessary measures that 
should be taken by Congress, he declared that 
there should be a law to regulate interstate 
commerce, and that provision should be made 
for a sufficient volume of currency. ^'This 
labor controversy the world over is purely a 
question of money, and nothing else. There is 
just enough money in this country to-day to 
enable the corporations to corner it. Just 
enough to enable the banks and the usurers to 
extort usury .... there are three classes 
of vampires who are sucking up the last drop 
of the blood of honest toil — the land monop- 
olies, the railroad monopolies, and the money 
monopolies. And if my voice can reach beyond 
the walls of this House to the humble abodes of 
suffering labor throughout the land, I say to 
the toiling millions of this country, you must 
overthrow these three great confederated 
monopolies, and this can only be done by 
proper legislation. Hence, you must strike at 
the ballot-box, and strike against every man 
who is full of promises when he is a candidate, 
but who disappoints you after he reaches his 
seat in this House. 

^^The only proper remedy in a republic for 


popular evils is through the exercise of the 
ballot. Strikes are only justifiable as a dernier 
ressort. If this Congress will not protect labor 
it must protect itself. "^^^ 

In this discussion of labor Weaver showed 
how fundamental he regarded the money and 
monopoly problems. As has already been sug- 
gested, no matter what the subject under con- 
sideration might be, he usually connected it 
with some phase of the money or monopoly 
problem. Interstate commerce, the administra- 
tion of the public lands and the land laws, as 
well as labor troubles and social unrest, all 
seemed to him to be the result of the lack of a 
sufficient volume of the currency. In a broad 
sense there was a large measure of truth in his 
contention, although in details and the concrete 
administration of financial affairs he was often 
mistaken and visionary. He was a pioneer and 
a prophet, with the strength and the weakness 
of such a personality. Many of his ideas have 
been incorporated into our laws and conduct of 
government, while others were impossible of 
application and have been forgotten. 

In December, 1885, Weaver re-introduced his 
joint resolution proposing an amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States to provide 
for the election of United States Senators by a 
vote of the people in each State. He first intro- 
duced such a resolution in January, 1881, dur- 


ing his first term in Congress. The bill was 
referred in both instances to the committee on 
the judiciary, and no further action was taken. 
The country has finally adopted the plan which 
was proposed by Weaver first in 1881 and again 
in 1885.1^2 

Among other matters to which General 
Weaver always gave a good deal of attention 
was that of pensions or claims for relief of 
persons who had served in the army during the 
Civil War or of their dependent relatives. Of 
the bills he introduced during this session of 
Congress sixteen were for pensions or the relief 
of individuals. ^^^ 

Other subjects in which he showed his inter- 
est by the introduction of bills, or by participa- 
tion in debate, were the enlargement of the 
powers of the. department of agriculture, the 
institution of a tax on oleomargarine, the estab- 
lishment of a postal telegraph, and the indebt- 
edness of the Pacific railroads. ^^'^ 

Altogether he introduced thirty-three bills 
and resolutions, of which nineteen were of a 
private character, while fourteen were of a 
public nature.^^^ He remained the leader of 
the Greenbackers, although as a party the 
group was rapidly waning in strength — there 
being only two who were listed as Greenbackers 
in the Forty-ninth Congress. By his ability as 
a debater and parliamentarian he had earned 


the respect of the leaders of the two old parties. 
Among the Republicans who served with him 
were Thomas B. Reed and Nelson Dingley of 
Maine, William McKinley of Ohio, Joseph G. 
Cannon of Illinois, and Robert M. La Follette 
of Wisconsin; while among his Democratic 
colleagues were Samuel J. Randall of Pennsyl- 
vania, Charles F. Crisp of Georgia, Abram S. 
Hewitt of New York, Roger Q. Mills of Texas, 
and William R. Morrison of Illinois. 

During the second session of the Forty-ninth 
Congress, which lasted from December 6, 1886, 
to March 3, 1887, General Weaver's chief activ- 
ity was in connection with the Interstate Com- 
merce Act, which was finally passed during that 
session after having been under discussion for 
a number of years. On January 19, 1887, he 
gave his reasons for opposing the bill as finally 
reported by the conference committee. 

^^For eight years'', said Weaver, ^'ever since 
I became acquainted with the provisions of 
what is so widely known as the Reagan bill, I 
have given it my unqualified support. I voted 
for its consideration in the Forty-sixth Con- 
gress. Under the leadership of the gentleman 
from Texas [Mr. Reagan] I voted with the 
majority of this House at the last session to 
strike out all after the enacting clause of the 
Cullom bill, and to substitute in its stead the 
Reagan bill. ... In conmion with my con- 


stituents, I considered the Reagan bill a wise 
and well-guarded measure for the regulation of 
commerce among the States. I considered it 
both safe and conservative, and free from 
dangerous experimental provisions. ' ' 

But the sections on rebates, preferences, and 
advantages, the long and short haul, and pools 
in the bill then before the House he criticized as 
vague and doubtful in their meaning. ''Now, 
these are the controlling provisions .... 
except the provisions which relate to the com- 
mission and that portion which relates to the 
courts that shall have jurisdiction to hear com- 
plaints. . . . Neither the commission clause 
nor the court clause that you have in this bill 
were in the Reagan bill. Neither were your 
rebate section, your preference section, your 
long and short haul section — none of those 
were in the Reagan bill, and they are the con- 
trolling and important sections of the bill. 

''It seems to be the theory of the pending bill 
to do as little for the people as possible ; and in 
making that remark I wish to say I am entirely 
impersonal in everything I say here, and desire 
to be so. It seems to be the theory of the pend- 
ing bill, I repeat, to do as little for the people 
as possible and to render those sections of the 
bill relating to the rights of the people as ob- 
scure and unintelligible as human ingenuity 
can make them. To use the language of a dis- 


tinguished member of this House, ^If the hand 
of a Talleyrand was not present in the construc- 
tion of this bill then all appearances are de- 
ceptive. ' 

^ ^ Suppose the great Lawgiver had construct- 
ed the Ten Commandments with the same 
uncertainty. Suppose he had said: 'Thou shalt 
not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; 
thou shalt not covet — contemporaneously or 
under substantially similar circumstances and 
conditions ' ; or suppose, at the conclusion of the 
decalogue the following provision had been 
added: 'Provided, how^ever, that upon applica- 
tion to the high priest or ecclesiastical commis- 
sioner appointed under the provisions of this 
act persons so designated may be authorized to 
cheat, steal, bear false witness, or covet, and 
said commission may from time to time pre- 
scribe the extent to which said persons may be 
relieved from any or all of said command- 
ments.' Under such circumstances would not 
the world have been without moral law from 
Moses to Cullom and from Mount Sinai to 
Pike's Peak!'' 

The bill before the House was finally de- 
scribed as one ''to more completely give over 
the control of the business and political inter- 
ests of the people into the hands of the confed- 
erated monopolies." 

"Where did this movement originate but with 


the Democratic party! The author of the 
Reagan bill has been the champion of this con- 
troversy with the railroads for more than ten 
years ; and the Democratic party, the Nationals, 
and the Anti-Monopolists have stood behind 
him, while the Senate has stood like a wall of 
iron against the passage of that measure. 
Finally, seeing they had to let us have some- 
thing, they licked their bill into a shape satis- 
factory to themselves, but most dangerous to 
the people. ''i^<^ 

As to other matters considered in the session 
Weaver's part was of incidental or occasional 
character. On December 13, 1886, he offered a 
resolution of inquiry relative to the issue of 
legal-tender notes. He aimed his inquiry par- 
ticularly at the substitution of notes of large 
denominations for those of smaller amount, 
which he claimed was illegal under the law of 
1878 prohibiting the further retirement of 
greenbacks. He called attention to the fact that 
a distinct provision had been inserted in the 
sundry civil appropriation act, passed at the 
last session, forbidding the use of any funds 
obtained through that act for the printing of 
United States notes of large denominations to 
take the place of those of small denominations 
cancelled or retired. The notes with which he 
was especially concerned were the one and two 
dollar bills, for the issue of which the same act 


had made a special appropriation. He asked 
for answers to three questions. Of the funds 
appropriated, had any been used for the issue 
of notes of large denominations? How many, 
if any, one and two dollar notes had been can- 
celled and retired since the passage of the 
appropriation bill referred to above? Had 
notes of like denomination been issued in their 
places r^"^ 

A few days later he took part in a debate 
upon a bill for the allotment of lands in sever- 
alty to Indians, urging that the amount as- 
signed should not be too large because ^Hhe 
Indian never will cease to become a herder 
until he becomes an agriculturist. He is a nat- 
ural herder. The white man must be considered 
in this matter as well as the Indian. Under 
the bill, if the amendments be adopted, a family 
of four persons, supposing the children to be 
over eighteen years of age, will be allotted 360 
acres of arable land and 360 acres of grazing 
land, or 720 acres in all. In my judgment that 
is too much, but on the contrary you will sooner 
civilize them if you will confine them to a less 

About the middle of January, 1887, General 
Weaver engaged in a debate upon the question 
of the recovery of an income tax paid by the 
warden of the Kentucky penitentiary during 
the years 1863 to 1867. The amount involved 


was $35,000, and the claim was based upon the 
fact that the warden was paid no salary, was 
required by law to keep the convicts at work, 
and made a profit by the employment of convict 
labor. Weaver opposed the refund, and gave 
as his reasons that ^Hhe correct policy^' was 
^Ho tax incomes. All ought to be taxed over a 
given amount. In this case the amount was 
paid long years ago, and paid by an individual 
who was receiving enormous profits as com- 
pared with those employing free labor. I am 
opposed to the whole convict-labor system, par- 
ticularly to rewards for such labor; and this 
would be nothing but a reward to a person 
engaged in employing that class of labor over 
and above his brother who employs free 
labor. ''1^^ 

In February he undertook to have the bill 
for the organization of Oklahoma made a spe- 
cial order and to have continuous consideration 
of the measure from day to day until it was 
finally disposed of. But in this effort he did 
not succeed, no further action being taken dur- 
ing the session.^^^ 

On the last day of the short session he op- 
posed the acceptance of a donation of about six 
hundred acres of land near Chicago for mili- 
tary purposes. His reasons for opposition 
were that ^Hhe original democratic features*' 
of American society seemed to be rapidly pass- 


ing away. ^'We are approaching that condi- 
tion of things in which, unless we adhere to the 
old landmarks, you will have to adopt in this 
country the repressive policy resorted to by the 
monarchies of the Old World in order to keep 
the people in subjection. This measure is but 
an unmistakable indication of the tendency of 
things in this Republic to-day. ' ' 

He pointed out that there were bills before 
Congress that had been under consideration 
for a number of years, ^^ bills to compel wealthy 
corporations to release their clutch upon fifty- 
odd million acres of land which ought to be 
consecrated forever and reserved for homeless 
people who are now, under our land policy, 
excluded from occupancy of this land and com- 
pelled to congregate in the large cities. 

^^The tendency is away from the farm and 
away from the rural districts; the trend is to- 
ward the city, where the needy congregate and 
where crime becomes organized and where the 
Republic is stabbed .... if you want to 
prevent communism in this country, if you want 
to do away with labor troubles, pass laws here 
which shall be equal in their bearing upon all 
classes. Repeal your class laws, take the bur- 
dens off the people, unlock your Treasury, pay 
your debts, and relieve the distress of the coun- 
try. In this way you will have less communism 
and fewer strikes than you have to-day. ' ^ 


He declared that if the government wanted 
a military site near Chicago it was able to buy 
and pay for it; if the gentlemen donating the 
land had more land than they needed '^let them 
build homes upon it and donate it to the poor 
wretches around the streets of Chicago. If 
they will do this they will have less use for a 
military encampment there. And after doing 
this if they still have a superabundance of land, 
they can donate a part of that magnificent tract 
numbering millions of acres granted to one of 
these gentlemen by the State of Texas. . . . 

**It is an idle slander to say that every man 
about Chicago belonging to labor organizations 
is a communist. No man in this House has less 
sympathy with that class of people than I have. 
Let us show ourselves just, and then we can 
reasonably demand obedience among the peo- 
ple. Our legislation must be pure and honest 
before we can reasonably expect it to be peace- 

^^And I warn this House, in the name of the 
laboring men of this country, not to pass legis- 
lation which looks to overawing the people by 
military establishments, but to go to work and 
undo the legislation which has brought about 
our present discontent. It is the greed of the 
rich and not the dissensions of the poor that 
we should dread the world over.'' 

For these reasons Weaver expressed himself 


as opposed to the proposed measure. He re- 
garded it as a plan intended ''to build up a 
grand military establishment in the neighbor- 
hood of Chicago and to override and overawe 
the people." In reply to a remark containing 
the words "and to overawe anarchists", he 
answered, "not to 'overawe anarchists'. The 
anarchists are now in the clutch of the law, and 
ought to be there. "^^^ 



Last Teem in Congkess 


By a fusion of Democrats and Greenbackers, 
General Weaver was reelected to Congress in 
1886. John A. Donnell was his opponent, and 
the vote was 16,572 to 15,954. In the State at 
large there was fusion of the Democrats and 
Greenbackers, although the opponents of 
Weaver and fusion held a convention at Cedar 
Eapids in May and nominated an independent 
ticket — which apparently received no votes at 
the election. Besides Weaver the Congres- 
sional delegation from Iowa consisted of seven 
Eepublicans, one Independent Republican, and 
two Democrats.^^2 

The Fiftieth Congress was composed of one 
hundred sixty-nine Democrats, one hundred 
fifty-two Republicans, two Labor representa- 
tives, and two Independents. John G. Carlisle 
was reelected speaker by a vote of one hundred 
sixty-three to one hundred forty-seven for 
Thomas B. Reed. Weaver voted for Carlisle, 
and he received as his committee appointments 
the chairmanship of the committee on patents, 



and membership on the committee on private 
land claims. The first session of this Congress 
lasted from December 5, 1887, to October 20, 


President Cleveland's annual message was 
entirely devoted to the tariff, which became the 
chief topic for discussion during the session. 
The President's advocacy of a reduction com- 
mitted his party to tariff revision. In the 
House where the Democrats were in control, the 
Mills Bill was the result of the President's rec- 
ommendation — although his party was by no 
means united on this measure. A Republican 
Senate proceeded to substitute for the Mills Bill 
a measure of its own. No legislation resulted, 
the proposed measures merely serving to put 
concretely before the country the divergent 
views of the two parties. The campaign of 1888 
ended with the defeat of Cleveland and the 
election of Harrison.^^"* 

The Mills Bill occupied the attention of the 
House of Representatives from April 17, 1888, 
till its passage on July 21, 1888. It was on May 
16, 1888, that Congressman Weaver gave his 
reasons for supporting the bill. He had 
^^ listened to the oral discussion of this measure, 
with great interest, and after the publication of 
the speeches in the Record I have read many of 
them over with care in the quietude of my room. 
The result with me is an overwhelming convic- 


tion that this is a fair and liberal bill, and that 
it is my duty to support it. I believe it to be an 
honest effort on the part of the majority of the 
Committee on Ways and Means to relieve the 
people. The framers of this bill have, as I shall 
show, manifested a fairness and liberality to- 
wards the protected industries which those 
industries and lines of business connected with 
them utterly refuse to extend to the great body 
of the people who use and consume their 
wares. ' ' 

After this statement of his position in gen- 
eral terms, Weaver proceeded to discuss the 
situation. He pointed out that it was conceded 
that the national revenues were annually about 
$60,000,000 in excess of necessary expenditures ; 
that the surplus now in the Treasury amounted 
to $100,000,000, and was increasing ^'rapidly 
and constantly". The situation, in his opinion, 
was the result of unwise and improvident legis- 
lation. *^ Instead of prudently reserving the 
right to annually redeem at par an amount of 
interest-bearing bonds equal to any surplus 
money that might from time to time accumu- 
late, instead of a wise reservation like this, you 
in effect enacted that there should be a surplus 
and then clothed the holder of public securities 
with power to extort blood-money in the shape 
of unconscionable premiums '\ 

After such a ^^ blunder — to use no harsher 


term — '^ the Republicans had no ground upon 
which to claim the exclusive privilege of deal- 
ing with the outcome. The majority of the com- 
mittee had united in presenting a scheme of tax 
reduction, while the minority simply opposed 
the proposed plan. Although Republican plat- 
forms had pledged the party to revise and 
reduce the tariff, when the Democrats under- 
took to make the reduction, and prevent surplus 
accumulations in the Treasury, they were *^ de- 
nounced as free-traders, and accused of trying 
to unsettle the business prosperity of the 
country. ' ^ 

General Weaver then turned to a discussion 
of the record of the Republicans in Congress 
upon the reduction of the tariff; and he de- 
scribed the attitude of the Senators and of 
several Republican Representatives from Iowa. 
He noted certain inconsistencies in their rec- 
ords, and accused them of ignoring the real 
needs of the people. He thought that the re- 
duction should be made on ^^the necessaries of 
life; on the lumber that shelters our people, 
and out of which our houses and barns and 
granaries must be constructed." It should be 
made on ^Hhe clothing our people wear, the 
food they eat, the salt that seasons their frugal 
meals, the implements they use in their daily 
toil, upon the blankets that keep us and our 
little ones warm when the mercury is below 


zero, and upon steel rails, the cost of which 
enters so materially into the cost of transport- 
ing our produce to market ' \ 

Next he showed that the protected industries 
were unwilling to treat their customers with 
the same liberality with which they were treated 
by the revenue laws. They had ^ ignored the 
equities of their contract", and had gone into 
the markets of the world and *^ bought their 
labor where they could buy it the cheapest '\ 
But they were not satisfied with this advantage. 
Secure from foreign competition, they resorted 
to *^ trusts'' to do away with competition at 
home. He then named * ^ a few of the protected 
industries and connected lines of business which 
are controlled by trusts: linseed-oil, watches 
and watchcases, rope and cordage, salt, nails, 
screws, envelopes, iron beams for houses, 
bridges, etc. ; terra-cotta goods, wall-paper and 
paper hangings, candy, bagging, the manufac- 
ture of steel, barbed wire, plated wire, uphol- 
sterer's goods, galvanized sheet-iron, castor- 
oil, gutta-percha goods, tacks, wrenches and 
hinges, boiler-flues, glass, lumber, writing- 
paper, wrapping-paper, wooden-ware, oil cloth, 
carpets, silver plate. ... I could extend 
this list almost indefinitely. There is scarcely a 
protected industry in America to-day — or un- 
protected, for that matter — that has not re- 
sorted to combination and to the trust ; and for 


what purpose! For the purpose of destroying 
home competition." 

In conclusion he declared that it was ^ ^ a fraud 
and a pretense to claim that labor is getting the 
benefit of protection. Our tariff laws pour a 
golden stream into the pockets of the manufac- 
turers, but it never returns to bless and enrich 
the children of toil. ' ' He called attention to the 
fact that recent strikes had failed, even where a 
strong labor organization, like the Brotherhood 
of Locomotive Engineers, was involved. Cap- 
ital was master of the situation, and labor 
needed protection, not so much from foreign 
competition as from corporations, syndicates, 
and trusts. Labor possessed one thing which 
capital did not — the ballot. His advice to labor 
was to use the advantage, and to use it quickly. 
*'If you wish capital to take its legitimate place 
as the servant of mankind, if you would avoid 
serfdom for yourselves and your posterity, 
you must immediately throw about the people 
such safeguards as will insure that result. You 
must erect anew the barriers which our fathers 
erected, but which have been trodden down. '^^o 5 

Again on May 31st and June 1st, 6th, and 7th, 
Weaver engaged in the tariff debate in favor of 
free lumber. He appealed for the removal of 
the duty ^ * in behalf of the citizens who dwell in 
the prairie States, and who must have lumber 
to build their homes, their barns, their gran- 


aries''. Protesting against any action that 
would result in fastening a lumber trust upon 
the farmers of his district, he demanded in the 
name of his constituents that lumber should be 
on the free-list. He also declared that the trust 
controlled the local dealers and compelled them 
to sell at a schedule price. Through their com- 
bination with the transportation monopolies, no 
one could engage in the lumber business with- 
out the consent of the lumber trust and trans- 
portation companies, which together formed 
**one of the most unconscionable trusts ever 
organized'', and which was organized to plun- 
der the people who were '^far removed from 
the great centers of lumber manufacture ".^^^ 

In reply to a member of the House who denied 
the existence of a ^^ lumber trust" and who said 
that his credulity had been imposed upon by 
^^some designing free-trader", and who also 
suggested that he (Weaver) was the same man 
who some years before '^believed that money 
could be made by the use of the printing press 
and plenty of paper", General Weaver declared 
that the gentleman's lack of knowledge con- 
cerning the lumber trust was only equaled by 
his lack of knowledge of finance. *'I saw this 
great Government, by an exercise of its sover- 
eign power, create money and with it preserve 
the life of this nation. The gentleman twits me 
with believing that the Government can make 


money out of paper. It is not a matter of faith. 
I know it. The whole country knows it, and the 
Supreme Court have declared it lawful in war 
and constitutional in peace ; and I am not only 
opposed to the lumber trust but to the national- 
bank trust, and to all other trusts as well."--^'^ 

On still another day Weaver had an amusing 
controversy with E. H. Funston of Kansas over 
the duties on lumber and barbed wire. Each 
tried to get the other to answer a definite ques- 
tion which would commit him upon the points at 
issue. Funston described himself as a protec- 
tionist, ^^not merely for the things that we pro- 
duce ourselves, not upon the ground that I want 
all things that we consume in my State to come 
in free and a duty to be laid upon all things we 
produce'', but upon ''the broad principles of 
Henry Clay, who so ably advocated the doc- 
trines of the protective system. ' ' Weaver tried 
to make plain that the Republican legislature 
of Kansas had taken the position that he main- 
tained, and that four of Funston 's colleagues 
had voted for free lumber. Funston replied 
that Weaver misrepresented his own State. 
''He came down into my district last fall and 
made a canvass there. The people of Kansas 
have learned by experience that whenever there 
is a drought in the Eocky Mountains we get 
grasshoppers, and whenever there is a failure 
of crops in Iowa we get the cranks. "^^*^ 


During June it appears that Weaver took 
part several times in debates upon legislation 
in regard to the public lands. He was inter- 
ested particularly in the active prosecution of 
fraudulent claims to prevent corporations from 
getting control to the exclusion of actual set- 
tlers. He urged ample appropriations for this 
purpose in order to preserve for settlement as 
much as possible of the public domain which 
was almost exhausted. 

Challenging the statement, made by a mem- 
ber of the House, that all the parties had in 
times past favored the grants to railroads, he 
asserted that ^4n the pure days of the Repub- 
lican party, before they obtained power and 
were brought face to face with the temptations 
incident to power, they were not in favor of 
anything of that kind, ' ' and he quoted from the 
platform of the Free Soil Party of 1852, ''made 
by the grand old men who made the Republican 
party *', to support his position. After the Re- 
publican party ''got into power it turned around 
and granted the public domain to corporations 
and opened it to private speculators .... 
in violation of the principle announced in the 
platform'' of 1852. The "land grants were a 
mistake, to draw it mildly — and we may as well 
all admit it now ; it was a great wrong to grant 
a single acre of the public domain to corpora- 
tions. . . . Every acre of the public lands 


should have been held for homes for the people, 
under a well-guarded homestead law. That was 
the proper w^ay to deal with the public domain ; 
but instead of that it was thrown open to ruth- 
less speculators, who have speculated in it until 
the poor people of this country to-day have to 
fight for standing room.''^^^ 

At another time Weaver urged the protection 
of mineral lands, especially of the coal deposits. 
He was not so insistent about the iron deposits, 
^'because iron is not so much an article of daily 
necessity''; but he would retain the title to all 
coal lands, giving to the user of the soil the 
right to take so much as may be necessary for 
his private purposes, and guarding ^Hhe balance 
carefully for the use of the people, so as to pro- 
tect them against paying tribute to monopoly. ' ' 
He would allow the government to lease the coal 
lands, and to prescribe ^Hhe maximum price 
beyond which the coal shall not be sold". Nor 
would he use government control as a source of 
revenue or of profit, as was done in European 
countries: he did not want the government to 
enter into mining operations, but to ^^ retain 
sovereign control over the source of the fuel 
supply '\2i« 

Another matter in which he was interested 
was the reservation along all water courses, 
lake and sea shores for public use of alternate 
strips of land one hundred feet wide and one 


thousand feet long. His object was to keep peo- 
ple from being fenced oif from water for stock 
and other necessary water supply. Such a pro- 
vision was just as necessary as the one for high- 
ways to give access to land. Often in the West 
twenty or thirty men entered the whole front of 
a stream, and on the side of it, and thus cut off 
all others from access to it. The cattle men 
excluded other settlers from water, and then 
acquired all the adjoining land since no one else 
could use it under the circumstances.^^ ^ 

In September, 1888, Weaver argued for the 
reservation of land for reservoir sites and for 
irrigation ditches, and a ^^ moderate'^ appropri- 
ation *^for the purpose of obtaining the infor- 
mation necessary to a proper understanding of 
this great project." He had '^for the past ten 
years'* been doing what he could to attract the 
attention of the American people to the impor- 
tance of the question of homes for the people. 
It had become apparent to the speculators that 
the great area, 1,000,000 square miles, of what 
was known as the arid or desert land would soon 
have to be occupied and that irrigation must be 
relied upon to make it fruitful and inhabitable. 
Consequently, they were investing in that part 
of the arid region which must be used for sites 
for reservoirs for the surplus water which falls 
in certain seasons of the year. Hence the imme- 
diate importance of the reservation of such 


In the Fiftieth Congress it appears that 
Weaver again introduced his bill for the organ- 
ization of Oklahoma as a Territory; and Con- 
gressman William M. Springer introduced two 
bills for the same purpose, the second of which, 
introduced on June 25, 1888, was debated on 
July 25th, August 6th, 28th, and 30th, and on 
September 12th and 13th. On August 30th 
Weaver made some brief remarks upon it with 
reference to a proposed amendment which he 
thought would prevent a man from selling a 
mortgaged farm and making a new start in 
Oklahoma. In his opinion it would exclude 
worthy men whose misfortune it was to be mort- 
gaged beyond their power of redemption.^ ^^ 

Another related measure was a bill passed by 
the Senate which extended the laws of the 
United States to the unorganized territory, 
south of Kansas, west of the Indian Territory, 
and north of the Panhandle of Texas, known as 
No Man's Land or the Public Land Strip. The 
proposition was to create a land office there and 
allow lands to be acquired under the homestead 
laws, and also to extend the laws of the United 
States over the district. The advocates of this 
bill claimed that there were 15,000 people set- 
tled there without any form of government. On 
the other hand, the supporters of the Oklahoma 
Bill declared that it would be just as easy to 
pass their bill, and if it were passed there would 


be no need for the other measure. The Okla- 
homa Bill was a more satisfactory solution, 
since it would establish a local government; 
while the other bill would merely extend over 
the district the laws of the United States which 
do not furnish any protection under the crim- 
inal code nor any protection for property. 
Weaver, of course, opposed the Senate bill, 
which he described as **a rival project'^ that 
was ^* designed to disembowel the Oklahoma 
proposition. '^ He declared that it had been de- 
nounced at a recent meeting by the people living 
in the district who favored the Oklahoma Bill, 
and that 600,000 laboring men had petitioned 
for the passage of the broader measure. Ap- 
parently, the opposition to the Public Land 
Strip Bill was successful as there was no 
further discussion of it during the session.^^^ 

General Weaver's remaining share in the 
work of the session was of a miscellaneous char- 
acter. He took part in a debate in March upon 
a bill to make changes in the Department of 
Labor; he asked whether it would become an 
executive department, and whether its head 
would be a cabinet officer. Evidently he had in 
mind his bill of the previous Congress. The 
law to ^^ create boards of arbitration for settling 
controversies and differences between railroad 
corporations and other common carriers en- 
gaged in interstate and Territorial transporta- 


tion of property or passengers and their em- 
ployes'' was passed at this session, but Weaver 
seems not to have taken any part in the debate 
upon it. As he had stated in debate in the 
previous Congress, he was not a believer in 
such legislation: he would improve the funda- 
mental conditions out of the maladjustment of 
which strikes and labor difficulties arose.^^^ 

When in the course of the debate over the 
Department of Labor the question of farm 
mortgages came up. Weaver declared that dur- 
ing the summer of 1887 he had travelled * ' from 
Western New York, through portions of Penn- 
sylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, 
Kansas, and Nebraska ' ', and the very best testi- 
mony he could procure indicated that "two- 
thirds of all the farms in the United States and 
Territories'' were under mortgages. He be- 
lieved "this fearful state of affairs" was "the 
result of excessive interest charges, excessive 
transportation charges, and insufficient volume 
of money, excessive taxes, and improvident 
management" of the public domain.^ ^^ 

During the session Weaver introduced forty- 
four bills and resolutions — of which twenty-six 
were pension, relief, or other private bills ; two 
were for public buildings, one at Oskaloosa and 
the other at Ottumwa; and sixteen were of a 
public character. Of the latter, four were cur- 
rency or financial measures ; ^ve, including the 


Oklahoma Bill, had reference to the public 
lands; while of the remaining- seven, one was 
for the popular election of United States Sen- 
ators, another was his Soldier Bill, and the 
others were to repeal the duty on lumber, to 
establish a postal telegraph, to amend the 
patent laws, to define the time when pensions 
should take effect, and to donate some con- 
demned cannon to an Iowa town.^^"^ 

General Weaver availed himself of every op^ 
portunity to attack the national banks. Espe- 
cially did he oppose the then recent practice of 
depositing large amounts of government funds 
in the banks without interest — a practice 
widely extended at that time because of the 
large surplus that had accumulated. In a de- 
bate upon a bill to provide for the purchase of 
United States bonds by the Secretary of the 
Treasury it appears that Weaver followed 
McKinley and was in turn followed by Reed. 
Mills assigned thirty minutes to Weaver, who 
described the country as ^Svithin the grasp of a 
gigantic, cold-blooded money trust, which limits 
the money output, prescribes the conditions on 
which it deigns to accept the currency at the 
hands of the Government, determines the chan- 
nels through which it shall reach the people, 
and the terms upon which it shall be doled 
out. . . . 

*^For a quarter of a century this trust has 


overawed Congress, and at this time is setting 
at defiance laws which it does not approve. It 
is a national organization, with ramifications 
everywhere. It holds annual sessions, has an 
executive council, w^hich meets in secret, and is 
clothed with power to collect large sums of 
money and to disburse the same for purposes 
which are not made public. It is the architect 
of our present financial structure. They have 
built it to suit the cupidity of the usurer and so 
as to administer to the devouring appetite of 
money ghouls, rather than to serve the legiti- 
mate wants of business and trade. They have 
made it a snare, a delusion, and a rack of tor- 
ture to those who are content to accumulate 
wealth by production, and it has proved a bed 

of quicksand to business energy and honest 
thrift. ''218 

The second session of the Fiftieth Congress, 
which was Weaver's last period of service at 
Washington, lasted from December 3, 1888, to 
March 2, 1889. Being the short session it was 
devoted largely to the passage of appropriation 
bills. Weaver again attracted the attention of 
the country, as he had in 1880 by his fight for 
the consideration of his resolution against the 
refunding of the national debt. At this time he 
led a filibuster in the House which resulted in 
the passage of the Oklahoma Bill in the face of 
strong opposition. 



The filibuster began on Tuesday, January 
Sth, and continued until Saturday, January 
12th, ^'preventing thereby totally the trans- 
action of any public business, except a few con- 
ference reports/' By a series of dilatory 
motions and by requiring votes thereon, the 
time of the House was consumed for four days. 
Saturday morning an arrangement was made 
between the Democratic leaders — Carlisle, 
Eandall, and Mills — and General Weaver, ac- 
cording to which he was to cease to filibuster 
and the Speaker was ''to recognize a motion to 
pass the Oklahoma bill under suspension of the 
rules on the next 'suspension day', and if the 
opponents of the bill filibuster to prevent a 
vote", the House was to be kept in continuous 
session from day to day until a vote should be 
taken on the passage of the bill. In accordance 
with this understanding Weaver ceased to make 
dilatory motions Saturday morning, and on 
Monday the necessary changes in the rules were 
made by a vote of one hundred fifty-six to 
eighty-five, eighty-two not voting. "All over 
the country", to use the words of one Congress- 
man, ' ' in every newspaper in this land, from the 
great metropolitan dailies down to the little 
country papers .... the gentleman from 
Iowa has a notoriety, not to say reputation, 
which has not been equaled by the performance 
of any other gentleman who has occupied a seat 


on this floor since my public career hegan^\^^^ 
As a result of Weaver's effort the Oklahoma 
Bill was taken up on January 30th, debated on 
that and the following day, and passed by the 
House on February 1st by a vote of one hundred 
forty-seven to one hundred and two, seventy- 
two not voting. The bill then went to the Senate 
where it failed to receive attention because of 
the lateness of its passage in the House, and 
because of the congestion of business incident 
to the close of the session. A bill for the organ- 
ization of the Territory of Oklahoma was 
finally passed in 1890.^20 

Although the organization of a Territorial 
government was delayed until the following 
year, the opening of Oklahoma for settlement 
was provided for at this session of Congress. 
On January 19, 1889, delegates of the Creeks 
agreed to cede to the United States the western 
half of their domain in consideration of 
$2,280,857.10, the agreement being ratified by 
the Creek Council on January 31st and by Con- 
gress on March 1, 1889. A provision was in- 
serted in the Indian Appropriation Bill for the 
appointment of three commissioners by the 
President to arrange with the Cherokee and 
other Indians owning or claiming lands west of 
the ninety-sixth degree of longitude to cede 
their lands upon the same conditions as those 
made with the Creeks. If these terms were 


accepted, the President was authorized by 
proclamation to open the lands for settlement. 
No preparations for the government of the 
opened lands were made by Congress other than 
the establishment of a United States court for 
the whole Indian Territory. Land offices were 
established at Guthrie and one other place, and 
a military force was placed in the district to 
keep it free of intruders until the time set for 
its legal opening. 

By these provisions for the purchase of the 
Indian lands one of the objections raised in the 
debates on the bill for the organization of a 
Territorial government for Oklahoma was re- 
moved. The argument that the government had 
not as yet secured title to these lands from the 
Indians could no longer be used; this action 
would therefore pave the way for the establish- 
ment of a regular form of government. Gen- 
eral Weaver took only an incidental part in the 
debates on these cessions ; but he was neverthe- 
less keenly interested in the passage of these 
portions of the bill, and one of the incidents he 
delighted to recall was his *' breakneck ride^' 
down Pennsylvania Avenue with Senator Jones 
of Arkansas to get President Cleveland's signa- 
ture in the last hours of his first administra- 
tion. An agreement was made with the Sem- 
inoles for the release and conveyance of 
5,439,865 acres of land, for which the sum of 


$4,193,799.12 was paid, and these lands were 
opened to settlement by presidential proclama- 
tion on April 22, 1889. 

From the date of the President's proclama- 
tion a steadily increasing number of home- 
seekers, with adventurers of all kinds, collected 
on the borders of the district. *^ Whole outfits 
for towns, including portable houses, were 
shipped by rail, and individual families in pic- 
turesque, primitive, white-covered wagons, 
journeying forward, stretched out for miles in 
an unbroken line.'' No person entering the 
district before the appointed time could ever 
acquire lands. The law forbidding the intro- 
duction of liquor into the Indian Territory was 
strictly enforced, and to this action was largely 
due the peaceful occupation in spite of the fact 
that most of the settlers were armed. ^^The 
blast of a bugle, at noon on a beautiful spring 
day, was the signal for a wild rush across all 
the borders. Men on horseback, on foot, in 
every conceivable vehicle, sought homes at the 
utmost speed, and before nightfall town sites 
were laid out for several thousand inhabitants 
each. Upward of 50,000 persons entered the 
Territory, and between 6,000 and 7,000 were 
conveyed from Arkansas City to Guthrie by 
rail in the afternoon of the first day. ' ' 

This dramatic beginning of the present State 
of Oklahoma marked the end of a long struggle. 


As early as 1879 an extensive scheme was 
planned to take forcible possession. Parties 
from Missouri, Kansas, and Texas entered the 
Territory, carrying household goods and farm- 
ing implements with the intention of locating 
homes ; but a proclamation of President Hayes 
forbade the movement, and ordered their re- 
moval by military force if necessary. A second 
proclamation to the same effect was issued early 
in 1880. David L. Payne, the leader of the 
^^ boomers" till 1884, was ^* repeatedly arrested 
by United States troops and expelled" from the 
region, ^^the number of his followers increasing 
with every successive expedition". After the 
death of Payne, raids were organized by W. L. 
Couch and others who had previously acted as 
his lieutenants. In December, 1884, Couch 
entered the Territory with a large body of 
armed men, encamped, and defied removal by 
the military. In January, 1885, he was obliged 
to surrender, he and his leading associates be- 
ing arrested upon ^'a charge of unlawfully 
engaging in insurrection against the authority 
of the United States". The suits were subse- 
quently dismissed. President Cleveland fol- 
lowed the same policy, and the removal of 
intruders several times a year continued until 
1887. Meanwhile negotiations were opened 
with the Indians for the settlement of unoccu- 
pied lands.^^^ 


The great force opposing the opening of 
Oklahoma came from the rich cattle men, who 
herded hundreds of thousands of cattle on the 
ranges. There were three forces that opposed 
the cattle men: the ^* boomers" who desired to 
occupy the land; their friends throughout the 
country who contributed to the expense of the 
long campaign ; and a few members of Congress 
headed by General Weaver of Iowa, Springer of 
Illinois, and Mansur of Missouri. ^'The cattle 
men were rich and powerful. Some members of 
Congress were supposed to be personally inter- 
ested. Other members had friends who were 
interested. A powerful lobby was maintained 
in Congress by the cattle interests, and at one 
time a Congressional investigation of alleged 
corrupt use of money among Congressmen was 
threatened ' \ Many meetings were held in Iowa 
and Kansas where ways and means were dis- 
cussed and provided to wrest the Territory 
from the cattle men. A number of these meet- 
ings were held at the Weaver home ; and one at 
Wichita, Kansas, was attended by 2000 persons, 
the speakers being Weaver, Couch, and Mansur. 

After the opening of the country disorder be- 
came so prevalent that some sort of a local 
government became necessary; and so a meet- 
ing was called for a certain evening at Okla- 
homa City. The meeting was held on the open 
prairie, a large dry-goods box serving as a plat- 


form. Speeches were made by General Weaver, 
who presided, and by others. It was decided to 
call an election the following morning and elect 
a city ticket, although there was no legal basis 
for such procedure. Captain Couch, for years 
the leader of the boomers, was the nominee of 
the meeting for mayor; and he was elected on 
the following day. A Federal officer adminis- 
tered the oath of office and the officials immedi- 
ately assumed office. Order was restored and 
government was administered in this way until 
Congress organized the Territory of Oklahoma 
in 1890. 

Other Oklahoma communities met the situa- 
tion in the same way; mass meetings were as- 
sembled, and within two weeks city governments 
were in full operation. ^ ^ Though these govern- 
ments had no legal basis, being founded solely 
on the consent of the citizens, they operated 
efficiently; the mayor's orders were obeyed, the 
ordinances passed by the city councils were 
complied with, and the jurisdiction assumed by 
the police courts was accepted, in both civil and 
criminal cases. No further governmental or- 
ganization occurred until, after more than a 
year, a dilatory Congress took action.'' At the 
beginning the Territory embraced only about 
three thousand square miles, located in the 
west-central part of the original Indian Terri- 
tory. It was rapidly expanded by subsequent 


*^ openings'' until in 1901 its limits touched 
Kansas on the north and Texas on the south 
and its area increased ten times.^^^ 

In December General Weaver spoke briefly in 
favor of a bill to incorporate a company to build 
a canal on what was known as the Nicaragua 
route. He believed the bill was ^*one of the 
most important measures that have been be- 
fore the American Congress for a decade. It 
bears the same relation to the trade of America 
that the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope 
bore to the commerce of the Old World. The 
discovery of the Cape of Good Hope turned the 
commerce of A^ia away from the cities of the 
Mediterranean to the cities of London and 
Liverpool. The completion of this great canal 
will turn the commerce of the Orient away from 
the cities of Liverpool and London to our shores 
and to the cities of the United States. It will 
give us more than 3000 miles of advantage, and 
we can trust American pluck and enterprise to 
do the rest .... I venture to hope it may 
pass this body unanimously. ''^^^ 

Under date of February 6, 1889, General 
Weaver printed some brief remarks upon the 
same subject. He again expressed approval of 
the general purpose of the measure, although it 
did not contain **all the safeguards" that he 
deemed desirable in such an important piece of 
legislation. He found ^'the Pacific railroads 


present in great force, opposing the passage of 
this measure with all their power. The reason 
for this opposition is plain. The measure takes 
from them their monopoly of the transconti- 
nental carrying trade .... This canal 
should be built by the Government of the United 
States, and the day will come when the wisdom 
of this suggestion will be appreciated ; but it is 
impossible to secure such action at this time. 
Let me suggest also that the day for the con- 
struction of this great commercial enterprise 
has arrived. If we do not authorize its con- 
struction Germany or some other foreign 
power will do so at once. I trust the measure 
may pass, and that this great route, which 
shortens our pathway to the Orient between 
eight and ten thousand miles, may speedily be 
constructed.''^^* The bill passed Congress and 
was approved by the President on February 20, 

No canal has ever been constructed along this 
route, and the present Panama Canal was not 
begun for many years. But Weaver's predic- 
tion that such a canal should be built by the 
government finally came true, and is an illus- 
tration of his keenness of vision, or rather of 
his ability to see intuitively in advance of his 
contemporaries : many times he somehow sensed 
things that public men and business men have 
only come to see much later than he did. 


The surplus revenue which the government 
received, and which was one reason for the 
President's proposed reduction of the tariff, led 
to many schemes of lavish expenditure. One of 
the most striking- of all the proposals was the 
measure for refunding the direct tax which had 
been levied in 1861. Naturally but little of this 
tax had been collected from the southern States. 
The northern States would receive back prac- 
tically all of the $17,000,000 which they had 
paid, while the South would enjoy merely the 
remission of a tax which no one supposed would 
ever be collected. Southern representatives, 
with some help from the North, opposed the 

Ten minutes were allowed to General Weaver 
during the debate upon the bill on December 12, 
1888. He could not see his way clear to support 
it, and proceeded to give some of the reasons 
for his opposition. The direct tax was 'law- 
fully levied for a patriotic purpose''. The 
proposition to refund was simply one ''to do- 
nate the money to the various States"; and he 
denied "the existence of any constitutional 
authority to make such a donation." It was 
claimed in Iowa during the campaign that the 
State was in debt, and that the $400,000 it would 
get in this way would enable it to pay its debt 
without taxing the people in the usual way. 
To this argument Weaver replied that however 


convenient it might be for any State, the plan 
lacked ^^constitutional validity." 

Furthermore, Weaver maintained that it was 
'^a proposition to pay Southern war claims '\ 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas paid 
about $4,500,000 out of the $17,000,000 actually 
collected; that amount was consequently paid 
by States that were '^either in open rebellion", 
or ** furnished troops to the Southern army." 
Such a proposal in direct form would never be 
tolerated, but that was really what the refund 
did, ^^ relieved somewhat .... by the fact 
that the Northern States get a ^divy'." 

Furthermore, **the Southern States did not 
pay their share in putting down the rebellion. 
They did not pay their share of the stamp tax, 
the whisky tax, the income tax, the tax upon the 
gross earnings of railroads, the tax upon manu- 
factures, or of any other tax levied to suppress 
the rebellion ; and if you are to pay back to the 
States of the North — the loyal States, if you 
please — their share of this tax, upon the theory 
that the South did not pay their fair share, why 
is it not proper to go into a regular examination 
of the respective shares paid by the Southern 
and Northern States, rip up the whole question 
and have a readjustment, and assess the whole 
country to pay back to the loyal States all that 
they paid out for the suppression of the rebel- 


lion? This proposition is not only unconstitu- 
tional, but highly unreasonable and absurd. 

^'The fact that we have a surplus in the 
Treasury does not give propriety or justice to 
this measure. If the Government of the United 
States owes the States — the States that paid 
this tax — the amount provided for in this bill, 
it owes it without regard to whether we have a 
surplus in the Treasury or not. We are the 
trustees of the money now in the Treasury. It 
was collected for certain purposes, and w^e are 
in honor bound to thwart all propositions to 
expend it unlawfully. If we must pay back the 
seventeen and a half millions collected through 
the direct tax, let us do so by levying another 
direct tax for that purpose. Let each State pay 
its proportion.'' The bill was passed by Con- 
gress, but vetoed by President Cleveland as a 
^^ sheer, bald gratuity. ''^^"^ 

The last brief remarks of General Weaver in 
Congress were made on February 22, 1889, 
upon the bill to place General William S. 
Rosecrans upon the retired list of the army. 
He declared that he had had the honor to serve 
under General Grant and that he cherished his 
memory. He also had had the honor to serve 
under 'Hhe distinguished general whose name 
was under consideration", and he was his 
friend. ^'I care nothing about the controversy 
that existed between the two generals while they 


were both living. It would be unbecoming in 
me to do so. They were both patriotic, and I 
believe the cause of the Union would have fared 
badly had they not been in the service of the 

**I, too, had the honor to participate in the 
battle at Corinth in 1862, and I know, and the 
country knows, that but for the magnificent 
strategy of Rosecrans, his soldierly bearing, his 
wonderful grasp of and attention to the details 
of that battle, the Army of the Southwest would 
have been overthrown, and the consequences 
could not have been foretold. He decoyed the 
army of Price on to the spot where he designed 
to fight the battle, and the result was that he 
was victorious and captured parts of sixty-nine 
different commands serving under Price and 
Van Dorn and the other Confederate command- 
ers. In that important battle he saved the 
cause of the Union in the Southwest. Rosecrans 
was a splendid soldier, a valuable officer, and he 
is now a most honorable citizen. Few are more 
distinguished. He is one of the heroes of this 
age, and his name will live forever. I am for 
this bill. It must be passed. We cannot dis- 
honor him by voting no. I would like to see a 
unanimous vote. ^'^^'"^ 

During his three terms in Congress the rec- 
ords show that General Weaver supported 


many different measures, some of which have 
long been upon the statute books, others are 
still under discussion, while some have been 
shown to be mistakes and have been wisely for- 
gotten. His financial policy included the pay- 
ment of the national debt incurred during the 
Civil War as rapidly as possible instead of its 
funding, the permanent use of greenbacks and 
the retirement of the national bank notes, and 
the free coinage of silver. His public land pol- 
icy was based upon the preservation of the 
public domain for the use of actual settlers, and 
included the opening of Oklahoma, the forfeit- 
ure of railroad land grants, the reservation of 
coal deposits, the allotment of lands to Indians 
in severalty, and the irrigation of the arid lands 
to fit them for settlement. In addition he 
favored the reduction of the tariff and free raw 
materials such as lumber together with the use 
of an income tax for revenue purposes. In the 
main he seems to have supported the tariff 
policy of President Cleveland in his message of 
1887. He believed in the regulation of the rail- 
roads by the government, and he opposed the 
Interstate Commerce Act because he did not 
regard it as sufficiently definite and explicit in 
its provisions. His judgment was justified by 
the early history of its operation. He favored 
a number of other measures, such as the pop- 
ular election of United States Senators, the 


establishment of a Department of Labor with 
the secretary as a member of the cabinet, the 
construction of the Nicaragua Canal by the 
government, a postal telegraph, and the Oleo- 
margarine Bill. He opposed trusts and monop- 
olies in every form, and he anticipated the more 
recent hostility to convict labor. 

The Kansas City Times in 1889 described 
him as ^^a man of mark in the councils of the 
nation, and however much his greenback and 
other political theories may be attacked or be- 
littled, his adversaries regard him as a stub- 
born, hard fighter, not easily taken at disadvan- 
tage, capable of maintaining himself with 
credit either on the stump or in the halls of 
legislation .... General Weaver is well up 
in all matters of legislative history and prece- 
dent. He is a fluent and forcible speaker, and 
although gifted with superior oratorical pow- 
ers, employs them with prudence and reserve. 
He is strong in running debate, takes punish- 
ment well and repays with compound interest. 
He is a punctual and faithful committeeman 
. . . . His habits are industrious, and he is 
always happier when busily employed .... 
General Weaver has a pleasing presence, is 
above the average height and compactly built. 
He looks as if he could stand no end of physical 
fatigue and his movements are quick and ner- 
vous. Socially considered, he fills the bill of 

LAST ter:\i in congress 289 

cleverness in the American sense. Anybody can 
see and talk to him, as he is a plain, unostenta- 
tious man in both dress and address. His per- 
sonal habits are excellent, and, considered 
generally, he may be ranked among the superior 
men of the House. Independence of thought 
and action are his leading characteristics and 
he stands loyally by his friends. ''^^^ 

President Cleveland advised with him about 
appointments in Iowa and followed his advice. 
He is quoted as saying that ** Weaver is one of 
the few men w^ho come to talk with me about 

something else than politics — about legisla- 
tion. "^30 



Feom Geeenb acker to Populist 


The immediate cause of General Weaver's 
defeat for reelection in 1888 was the late 
adjournment of Congress in that year. It was 
late in October before the session closed; and 
since Weaver remained in attendance until 
almost the end of September, he had only a few 
weeks for his campaign. Furthermore, special 
efforts were made by the Republicans to accom- 
plish his defeat: his three elections from the 
same district made the Republicans especially 
anxious to dislodge him. Major John F. Lacey 
was drafted for the purpose of making the con- 
test, which it was felt ^^was desperate indeed.'* 
There was also believed to be in the district 
a ^^ secret oath bound organization . . . . 
under the personal supervision and manage- 
ment of one A. F. Mitchell, who carried with 
him autograph letters from Gen. Harrison com- 
mending Mitchell's plan of work, and urging 
the Republicans to adopt it." This organiza- 
tion had been at work in Weaver's home county 
for more than a month before his return. 



Indeed, the same kind of work was vigorously 
pushed in all the counties. The charge was 
made that money was used among purchasable 
voters, who were instructed to keep on appar- 
ently in the Weaver ranks. A Bloomfield paper 
stated that there were men in that city with 
plenty of money after the election who were not 
known to have money before.^^^ 

The campaign was ^ * one of the most notable 
. . . . ever made in Iowa.'' There were 
joint discussions in every county and people 
turned out in large numbers. The main issues 
were the Mills Bill and the question of free 
trade. ^^At Newton, Iowa, the speakers stood 
under the court-house portico with a vast 
throng in front of them. The Sackville-West 
affair had just occurred, in which the British 
minister had written a letter advising all nat- 
uralized Englishmen to vote the Democratic 
ticket. Mr. Lacey of course made good use of 
this incident. General Weaver closed the de- 
bate that day, and just as he was nearing the 
last part of his very eloquent and beautiful 
peroration two birds fluttered down in front of 
him from the portico above and hung balanced 
in the air a few feet in front of his breast. They 
fluttered playfully against each other and re- 
mained in the same position for perhaps thirty 
seconds. The General caught the inspiration 
of the situation and throwing up his hands to- 


ward heaven, said in earnest tones, ^The very 
birds in the air bring happy omens of our vic- 
tory.' Quick as a flash Major Lacey spoiled all 
this oratorical effect by rising and crying out, 
^Beware of them. General! They are English 
sparrows. ' 

**Here the General's time expired and the 
crowd dispersed laughing and shouting. Until 
the end of the campaign everyone talked of the 
pestiferous English sparrows nestling in the 
bosom of the eloquent general. General Weaver 
in accounting for his defeat always gave con- 
siderable weight to this incident. ' ' 

Weaver's reference to Lacey as the ''dapper 
little corporation attorney" suggests the con- 
trast between the two men. Lacey was a suc- 
cessful lawyer who had been drawn into poli- 
tics. He had no sympathy with any of Weaver's 
ideas. He waged the campaign along the tra- 
ditional lines so often and so successfully used 
by the advocates of protection. He was a ''Re- 
publican of the uncompromising conservative 
order", who lost his seat in 1906 through the 
rise of the "Progressive movement" with 
which he had no patience.^^^ Lacey and Weaver 
represented most excellently the older and 
newer types of politics : one was unconscious of 
the newer forms of social politics; while the 
other, equally unconscious, was pioneering the 
way in that direction. The contest in the sixth 


district of Iowa was a sug-gestive and significant 
one, both personally and from the point of view 
of social politics. 

Although he received 609 more votes than in 
1886, Weaver lost the election by a vote of 
17,181 to 18,009. Lacey's vote was larger by 
2,055 than that of the Republican candidate in 
1886.^^^ It was the year of Harrison's election 
when the Republicans w^ere especially eager to 
redeem the defeat of 1884. Weaver ran four 
times as a fusion candidate in the district: he 
was elected three times. At each election he 
ran ahead of the vote of the parties that sup- 
ported him. His victories were largely per- 
sonal, and he probably represented the real 
views of a majority of his constituents. He 
never had a strong party organization behind 
him as did the Republican candidates. 

The larger causes of Weaver's defeat are to 
be sought in the political conditions of the time. 
He entered Congress as a Greenbacker when 
the new party was at the height of its power; 
and when he was reelected in 1884 and 1886, 
that party was still in existence, though rapidly 
declining. As already pointed out, the Demo- 
cratic victory of 1884 represented in a certain 
sense the climax of the Greenback agitation. 
During the years from 1885 to 1889, w^hile 
Weaver was serving in Congress, the Green- 
back party disappeared, and a temporary party, 


known by the name of Union Labor, absorbed 
its remnants. Other Greenbackers returned to 
the Republican party from which they had 
come, while some joined the Democratic party. 
President Cleveland received the support of a 
good many independents who were chiefly inter- 
ested in good government and who had little 
interest in social politics. 

In 1886 Weaver referred to himself as a 
Greenbacker in a discussion in Congress in re- 
gard to the lack of definite policies or tests of 
membership in the two old parties. He told 
the Democrats that ^*we Greenbackers in Iowa 
affiliate with you and here in this House as far 
as we can, but, reserving to ourselves all the 
time the right to our own independence and the 
independence of the organization .... If 
the Democratic party will do anything for the 
people of this country, we say, amen. We will 
help you to do it."^^^ 

Two years later in July, 1888, in explanation 
of charges of inconsistency in his public utter- 
ances, he described his party changes from be- 
fore the Civil War to the time at which he was 
speaking. He gave his reasons for leaving the 
Eepublican party in 1877, declaring that the 
events of the past ten years had justified his 
action. He spoke of himself as a member of 
the Union Labor party, '^into which the Green- 
back party has practically merged, along with 


some other labor organizations. ' ' While he had 
never joined the Democratic party, he had felt 
it to be his duty ^'to affiliate with that party in 
this House, in my State, and in my district, 
whenever it was practicable, through the action 
of separate conventions, because I believe the 
Democratic party is nearer to the people than 
the Republican party, and because I find more 
friends there for the principles which I repre- 
sent than in any other party outside of my own. 

*^But while thus affiliating, it has been done 
in the frankest possible manner and with the 
distinct knowledge that I reserve my independ- 
ence and the right to strike at wrong wherever 
found, and .... I have been fearless in the 
exercise of my independence. I have nothing 
to conceal here. Those old extracts have been 
read in all the campaigns in Iowa for the past 
decade, until they sound like extracts from 
ancient history. The Democrats there have 
said, *Yes, he did hit us hard, but we hit him 
just as hard, and the account is square ; and we 
prefer him to any monopoly Republican that 
can be put up in the State \"^^^ 

Developments in Iowa politics during these 
same years also throw light upon political con- 
ditions. Early in June, 1887, a State conven- 
tion was held at Marshalltown under the name 
of Union Labor, although very few labor men 
were present. There was two factions, one led 


by L. H. Weller and J. E. Sovereign, opposed 
to fusion, and the other led by E. H. Gillette 
and L. Q. Hoggatt, who were willing to unite 
with the Democrats. The latter group, with 
whom Weaver worked, far outnumbered the 
Weller or anti-fusion forces, but Weller got a 
resolution passed allowing those present from 
any county to cast the full vote of the county, 
and by this means the distant counties, though 
slimly represented, had as much weight as the 
sixth and seventh districts that had almost a 
full representation. Thus the minority ob- 
tained at once a two-thirds vote, and Weller and 
the anti-fusionists had control. The Weaver 
men favored ex-Congressman B. T. Frederick, 
a Democrat, for Governor; but Weller suc- 
ceeded in nominating M. J. Caine.^'^^' 

The defeated faction met at Des Moines late 
in August and issued an address to farmers and 
labor men, but made no nominations. In Octo- 
ber a State committee, selected at Des Moines, 
issued a short address regretting that the con- 
vention at Marshalltown had not been harmo- 
nious, but declaring that the platform was 
satisfactory and advising members of the party 
to support the ticket since it was too late to 
name new candidates. The Greenback vote was 
14,283, as compared with 23,013 for Weaver in 
1883, the last year in which there had been a 
straight Greenback ticket in the field.-^"^ 


In 1888 there was in Iowa only one third 
party convention, which was held at Marshall- 
town in June and at which it was agreed to put 
a straight ticket in the field for the State elec- 
tion. The leaders were Weller, Gillette, and 
Sovereign, and there was considerable discus- 
sion over the endorsement of Weaver and 
Anderson for their action in Congress : Weller 
opposed the endorsement of the latter who had 
been elected as an Independent Republican. 
Several Iowa men were prominent in the Na- 
tional Union Labor convention held at Cincin- 
nati in May. Among them w^ere Gillette, Caine, 
Weller, and W. H. Robb. Apparently Weaver 
did not attend either the State or national con- 
vention. Probably he did not wish to be away 
from Congress during the debate upon the Mills 
Bill in which he took a great deal of interest. 
The vote at the State election showed a falling 
off of over 5000 from that of 1887.^^^^ 

There was mention of General Weaver as a 
candidate for the United States Senate in 1888 
to succeed James F. Wilson whose term expired 
in 1889. The Washington correspondent of 
The Iowa State Register was described by a 
contemporary as bringing out Weaver as a can- 
didate, and it was added that '^the big and the 
little organs of the republican party will en- 
gage in unceasing warfare upon Weaver, his 
senatorial ambitions and his proposed cam- 


paigii for election. Even the organs that have 
so strongly urged the election of nnion generals 
to the senate will oppose Weaver/' The same 
paper thought that The Iowa State Register 
had an object in proposing Weaver, and that 
object was to strengthen Hepburn who was be- 
ing urged by that paper against Wilson. 

Again, the same authority declared that if 
Weaver should be endorsed by the Democratic 
State convention as a senatorial candidate he 
**and his friends will make a canvass of the 
state that will surprise the opposition. '' Ee- 
publicans feared trouble from him in the next 
campaign and they had ^^ concluded that a dem- 
ocratic prejudice had better be worked up 
against him before the canvass begins." 

The Washington representative of The Iowa 
State Register was quoted as follows: *^Gen. 
Weaver is mapping out a programme for the 
democratic state convention this year, and, 
judging the future by the past, it is safe to 
assume that the convention will accept any plan 
he may suggest, even though it may involve a 
departure from the time-honored custom of the 
party. In a recent conversation with a promi- 
nent democratic politician from Iowa, he said 
that their convention this year would nominate 
a candidate for United States senator and in 
the election of members of the legislature, the 
people would know who tlie successor of Sen- 


ator Wilson would be in the event the democrats 
should secure a majority on joint ballot. He 
expressed great confidence in the result, and 
thought the democrats would have a safe work- 
ing majority in the legislature, and the election 
of a democratic successor to Mr. Wilson would 
follow. It is believed here that Weaver expects 
to be named by the convention for the senato- 
rial succession.'' 

In the same article in which this statement is 
quoted are to be found some suggestive com- 
ments. ^ ^ Iowa democrats will not be prejudiced 
against Weaver by such interviews. If the 
General made such predictions, they are cer- 
tainly of such a nature as to encourage demo- 
crats. Being a member of congress, it is hardly 
possible that he would court a senatorial nomi- 
nation — after the Nebraska plan — if he did 
not feel sanguine that he could and would make 
a successful race. It is possible that he does not 
wish the nomination, but if he does he will ask 
for it. If he receives it he will make the best 
effort he can make to win. His style of seeking 
office in the past has been commendable and by 
far too successful to please his republican 
opponents. "^^^ 

A Union Labor convention was held at Des 
Moines in September, 1889, in which a resolu- 
tion was passed favoring the nomination of 
candidates for the United States Senate by the 


different political parties, and proposing the 
naming of General Weaver as the Union Labor 
candidate for Senator. There was a strong 
sentiment in the convention against fusion, 
as was shown in the vote upon the resolu- 
tion introduced by Weller which was adopted 
by a vote of 150 to 30. The Union Labor candi- 
dates received votes varying from 5300 to 5800. 
The election of this year was notable because 
the Democrats elected their first Governor since 
the Civil War. Overshadowing the principles 
for which the Greenback and Union Labor 
parties contended, the prohibition issue was the 
chief feature of the campaign. Weaver's pro- 
nounced views upon prohibition made any 
fusion with the Democrats less probable than 
in the last few years.^"^^ 

In August, 1890, there was held at Des Moines 
a nondescript convention composed of delegates 
from the Greenback and Union Labor parties, 
Knights of Labor, Farmers' Alliances, and 
Granges. The miscellaneous character of the 
gathering illustrated concretely the confused 
political conditions. There were still some who 
called themselves Greenbackers, the temporary 
Union Labor party had not entirely disap- 
peared, and the elements which were the next 
year to be organized into the Populist party 
were actively at work. The name of Union 
Labor Industrial Party of Iowa was used to 


describe the convention of independents of this 
year. It added to its platform on motion of 
General Weaver a resolution for the election of 
United States Senators by direct vote of the 
people. ''And until we can properly amend the 
constitution in this behalf, we favor the nomi- 
nation of United States senators in the State 
conventions, pledging in the same resolution all 
Representatives elected by our party to vote for 
the nominee at the meeting of the Legislature. ' ' 

General Weaver also addressed the conven- 
tion, although a Republican newspaper claimed 
that he declined to serve on the platform com- 
mittee because his close identification with such 
a convention would injure his standing with 
the Democrats in the seventh district. Such a 
statement hardly seems worthy of much con- 
sideration, for within two weeks of the meeting 
of the convention he declined a unanimous nom- 
ination for Congress by the Democrats of that 
district. He gave his reasons fully for refusing 
to accept in a letter written August 28, 1890.^^^ 

With characteristic frankness he wrote: 
''Feeling at all times a warm sympathy for the 
great industrial movement now shaking the re- 
public from center to circumference, I advised 
members of the alliance and other labor organ- 
izations to hold a conference in the district con- 
cerning congressional matters. Such a con- 
ference was held. . . . Friends attending the 


meeting were instructed not to allow my name 
to be considered. This conference designated 
Hon. Jas. H. Barnett as its candidate. You 
will readily see from this statement of facts 
that I cannot consent to stand as a candidate, 
and that if I should do so I would subject my- 
self to the charge of bad faith, and I know that 
you would not knowingly place me in such a 
situation. These facts were unknown to the 
members of the convention when I was nomi- 
nated, but I cannot ignore their force. 

^^I trust that the Seventh district and every 
other district in Iowa may be redeemed from 
republican misrepresentation at the coming 
election. There should be no division of senti- 
ment in our state in view of the circumstances 
which confront the people. The republican 
leaders are determined at all hazards to per- 
petuate their power, and to do so they do not 
hesitate to trample under foot the plain letter 
of the constitution, the traditions of the fathers, 
and the liberties of the people. This is plainly 
shown by the passage of the Lodge bill through 
the house, the McKinley tariff bill, and the de- 
feat of the bill for the unrestricted coinage of 
silver. The first of these measures takes the 
election of representatives out of the hands of 
the people where it has rested for more than a 
century and places it under the control of 
partisan officers appointed for life. The second. 


if it shall become a law, will increase the cost of 
nearly all the necessities of life without dimin- 
ishing a single burden. The third demonetizes 
silver, reduces the country to a single gold 
standard and in conjunction with kindred legis- 
lation renders general business prosperity im- 
possible. I trust the people of Iowa may break 
through all obstacles and elect a delegation to 
congress who will look after Iowa interests in- 
stead of the interests of money sharks, corpora- 
tions and cutthroat combines. ^'^^^ 

Light is thrown upon the political situation 
by an editorial upon Weaver ^s declination of 
the Democratic nomination, in which after an 
expression of sincere regret, the statement is 
made that ^'had Mr. Barnett been willing to 
withdraw his candidacy so that Greneral Weaver 
might have had the united support of all the 
opponents of the republican ticket, he might 
have been prevailed upon to make the race. But 
Barnett would not do it. A nomination for con- 
gress, although coming from nowhere and rep- 
resenting no party nor no organization, being 
simply the act of sixteen independent men 
meeting in Des Moines, was a big thing for 
him, and he was as proud of it as a boy with a 
new toy. ' ^ 

The result, declared the writer, * ^ will prove a 
grievous disappointment to the people of the 
district. They would have elected General 


Weaver to congress. From every county in the 
district there came word of the enthusiasm 
among the people for him. He is the ablest and 
truest representative of all the people's inter- 
ests that could be found in the state. He is 
known to be incorruptible and faithful. He 
would be a power in the canvass and a host in 
himself in congress. "^'^-'^ 

The results of the State and Congressional 
elections in 1890 showed that the estimates of 
those who predicted success for the opposition 
to the Republicans were not unwarranted if the 
various elements composing it could unite. As 
it was the Congressional delegation stood six 
Democrats and five Republicans, a loss of five 
for the Republicans, giving to the Democrats a 
majority for the only time since the Civil War. 
Furthermore, two of of the Republican districts 
were carried by very close votes. Had Weaver 
been a candidate for Congress, he would almost 
certainly have been elected, and had he been the 
Democratic and independent candidate for the 
Senate, he might have made a successful cam- 
paign which would have added to his already 
great prestige. 

The election of 1890 was the first in which the 
new forces that were to form the Populist j^artj 
attracted the attention of the country. The 
tidal wave of defeat that overwhelmed the Re- 
publicans was due to conditions in the West 


and South, particularly during the years just 
preceding. Farming was unprofitable, and 
with the best of management the average farm- 
er in the West could not make both ends meet. 
The situation was somewhat different in the 
South, but widespread unrest there resulted in 
the formation of a political alliance between 
the two sections. Suddenly in 1890 a combina-. 
tion of circumstances produced the remarkable 
overturn of that year, and the country found 
itself face to face with a new popular move- 
ment, similar to the Granger and Greenback 
agitations, but much stronger and destined to 
have far-reaching effects upon the political 

In 1890 Iowa had only one Farmers ' Alliance 
candidate for Congress — A. J. Westfall who 
received 4658 votes and nearly defeated the Re- 
publican candidate who won over his Demo- 
cratic opponent by only 900 votes. There had 
been a Farmers' Alliance in Iowa since 1881, 
but it belonged to the so-called *' Northern Al- 
liance ' ', the activities of which, like those of the 
Grange, were non-political in character. Early 
in 1891 steps were taken to establish the 
^'Southern Farmers' Alliance" in Iowa. The 
chief differences between the two alliances were 
as to the participation of their members in poli- 
tics and the use of some secret methods, such 
as grips and pass-words. Among the persons 



active in the efforts to establish the Southern 
Alliance in Iowa were General Weaver and 
J. E. Sovereign. Evidently the organization 
wonld receive the support of former Green- 
backers and Union Labor party members.^^* 

Early in May seventy-four ^'leaders of vari- 
ous labor and farmers' organizations'' issued 
a call for a ^^ people's independent convention" 
to meet at Des Moines on June 3rd. The con- 
vention was composed of 425 delegates from 
sixty counties, the largest number coming from 
the eighth, sixth, eleventh, and seventh Congres- 
sional districts in the order named. It adopted 
the name of *^ People's Party of the State of 
Iowa", and ratified and confirmed *Hhe move- 
ment inaugurated at the Cincinnati conference, 
May 19, 1891, and the wise and patriotic plat- 
form of principles there adopted." Weaver 
and Sovereign were described as in control of 
the convention, and the new party was declared 
to be ^^ composed of the same men who years 
ago started out to reform the world under the 
Greenback banner and later as the Union Labor 
party. "2^^ 

General Weaver attended the conference at 
Cincinnati at which the *^ People's Party of the 
United States of America" was formed on May 
20, 1891. He was made a member of the national 
committee which consisted of three men from 
each State — the otlier members from Iowa 


being M. L. Wheat and A. J. Westfall. He also 
presided at some of the sessions, relieving 
Senator William Peffer of Kansas who was 
permanent chairman. Senator Peifer, Con- 
gressman Jerry Simpson of Kansas, General 
Weaver, and Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota 
were mentioned as prominent candidates of the 
new party for President at the next election.^^^ 
It was assumed that the party would make an 
independent nomination in 1892, and its recent 
record indicated that it would prove a formid- 
able competitor. Conceivably it might nominate 
a candidate who might be elected; actually it 
did help to defeat the Eepublican candidate and 
reelect Cleveland. 

There were a number of other preliminary 
meetings in the course of the formation of the 
new Populist party, and General Weaver seems 
to have attended all of them. He was at Indian- 
apolis in November, 1891, where the Supreme 
Council of the Southern Alliance was in session, 
and w^as '* called for and made a speech on the 
general situation, which was received with 
enthusiasm." Late in January, 1892, he was 
present at a Eeform conference in Chicago, the 
purpose of which was, according to Miss 
Frances E. Willard, who presided, ''to form a 
union of all the reform elements of the coun- 
try." Weaver w^as described as speaking ''at 
some length favoring the plan." He was also 


made a member of the committee which was 
appointed to present the recommendations of 
the conference to a larger gathering, called to 
meet at St. Louis on February 22, 1892. The 
recommendations favored greenbacks, de- 
nounced the saloon, urged government control 
of railroads, the limitation of land ownership, 
and municipal suifrage for women.^"*"^ 

The St. Louis conference was a very stormy 
affair. All sorts of ^4sms'' struggled for rec- 
ognition, among them prohibition and w^oman 
suffrage as well as the other economic and 
social reforms advocated by the successive 
third or independent parties. Approximately 
seven hundred and fifty delegates were seated, 
representing a great variety of organizations, 
while a considerable number of minor associa- 
tions were excluded. Prohibition and woman 
suffrage were the topics of heated discussion, 
and a serious split was threatened over the 
question of independent political action, to 
which many Southern delegates were opposed. 
The concrete object of the controversy was the 
appointment of a committee to act with the 
committee of the People's party for the purpose 
of calling a national convention to nominate 
candidates for President and Vice President. 
The conference failed to act, but a mass-meet- 
ing of delegates held immediately after adjourn- 
ment, with General Weaver in the chair, 


appointed this ^^much talked of committee ' \ 
The delegates present at the mass-meeting 
acted without even leaving their seats after the 
adjournment of the conference. Weaver's 
selection as presiding officer and his willingness 
to act indicate his attitude in regard to the con- 
troversy. He favored independent action 
against the old parties whenever there was 
good ground for such action, but he was also 
ready to cooperate with the Democrats if they 
would accept his program. He understood that 
there were times w^hen independent action was 
to be preferred, and other situations when 
fusion offered the only hope of success. A 
Eepublican paper in Iowa once declared that he 
never made a fusion in which he could not dic- 
tate the terms.^^^ 

Thus during the years from 1884 to 1892 
Oeneral Weaver moved with the political devel- 
opment of the period from Greenbacker to 
Populist. In fact he was what one writer de- 
scribed as a '^logical" Populist. He joined 
each of the succeeding minor parties because he 
hoped that each new one might prove to be the 
instrument by which his convictions and prin- 
ciples would be advanced. He was moving, 
largely unconsciously, toward a goal which he 
never reached, but which he made a little more 
feasible and hopeful for his successors. 


Second Campaign foe the Peesidency 


The formation of the Populist party in 1891 
was followed by nominations for President and 
Vice President in 1892. At the time of its 
organization several leading men were men- 
tioned as receptive or willing candidates, and 
among these was General Weaver. The others 
were either comparatively new men, like Peffer 
and Simpson, swept into public notice by the 
overturn of 1890, or like Donnelly with merely 
local or literary reputations. General Weaver 
was the only national figure who represented 
the new issues forcefully. His reputation as a 
public speaker and campaigner, together with 
his notable service in Congress, had given him 
a unique position. Likewise his candidacy in 
1880 for the Presidency helped to make him 
seem to be the logical nominee of the new party. 
Early in 1892 a ticket consisting of General 
Weaver and L. L. Polk of North Carolina was 
regarded by many of the well informed as alto- 
gether probable and suitable. Weaver would 
represent the West in the new alignment of 



forces, while Polk, who was the president of the 
Southern Farmers' Alliance, was identified 
with the South and its interests. Polk's death 
just before the Omaha convention removed his 
name from consideration and left open the nom- 
ination for Vice President. The only important 
opposition to Weaver came from those who 
hoped to induce some Republican leader, like 
Judge Gresham, to accept the nomination of the 
new party. 

One of the earliest suggestions of Weaver as 
a candidate in 1892 came from a Kansas Con- 
gressman elected in 1890. During a visit to 
Washington in February, 1891, he was quoted 
as saying that he did not doubt but that the new 
party would have a national ticket in the field. 
^'It may be too sanguine to expect to elect the 
president at this time, but w^e will try. Weaver 
of Iowa, for president and Polk, of North Caro- 
lina, for vice president are spoken of as the 
ticket. It is not unlikely that they will be nomi- 
nated. No one can say what will be the result. 
It may throw the election into the house. "^^^ 

It was in March that L. H. Weller in writing 
to a friend asked : *^ What will be the outcome at 
Omaha?" He indicated his opposition to the 
proposed ticket by adding: ^^but what can any 
man do when the tide sets strong in favor of 
any combination as it now appears for Weaver 
and Polk?" Weaver and Weller differed as to 


the advisability of fusion arrangements with 
the Democrats. Weller was much more of an 
extremist than Weaver and had less political 
insight. He was also jealous of Weaver's 
wider recognition and influence.^ ^^ 

In May, 1892, The Review of Reviews pub- 
lished pictures of Weaver and Polk, and in 
April of the same year the Arena gave promi- 
nence to the same men as leaders of the new 
party. General Weaver had an article in the 
March Arena on The Threefold Contention of 
Industry. ^^^ 

These references show that well in advance 
of the meeting of the nominating convention at 
Omaha there had been developed a good deal of 
agreement that Weaver and Polk would make a 
strong ticket and ought to be named as the 
standard bearers of the new party. The only 
serious opposition came from those who tried 
to induce Judge Gresham to accept the Populist 

Just before the Populist State Convention in 
Iowa in June, General Weaver returned from 
Oregon and Washington where he had taken 
part in the campaign preceding the election in 
those States. In an interview he described his 
meetings in Oregon as ^^ wonderful", and said 
that the Republicans were on the run, and the 
Democrats greatly depressed by Governor 
Pennoyer's defection to the Populists, as he 


was very popular and was serving his second 
term. When asked about the Omaha and State 
conventions, he replied that ^'the backward 
spring will interfere with the attendance — you 
see the farmers cannot come, but we shall have 
a goodly gathering and will select fifty-two 
delegates to the Omaha convention.'' He re- 
fused to say whether he would be a delegate at 
large or a candidate for the Presidency.-^^ 

At the State convention General Weaver was 
recommended to the national convention as a 
candidate for President, and delegates were 
chosen who met after adjournment and selected 
M. L. Wheat to nominate General Weaver.^^^ 

A large element in the Omaha convention, led 
by Powderly and Hayes of the Knights of 
Labor, hoped to induce Judge Walter Q. 
Gresham to accept the nomination for Presi- 
dent. They consequently tried to postpone 
nominations until definite word could be re- 
ceived from their candidate. Supporters of 
General Weaver were inclined to hasten the 
proceedings of the convention. As a result of 
these efforts, great confusion occurred and nom- 
inations were delayed until late in the evening. 

General Weaver was nominated by M. L. 
Wheat, and his nomination was seconded by 
Mrs. Mary E. Lease. The balloting was a 
^'struggle between the ^new blood', represented 
by Senator Kyle, of South Dakota, and the ^ old 


guard' of the Greenbackers represented by 
Gen. Weaver'' who won easily with nine hun- 
dred and ninety-five votes to two hundred and 
sixty-five for Kyle.^^* 

^^From the very beginning of the roll-call 
Weaver led all his competitors, and so over- 
whelming was the vote cast for him that his 
nomination was practically assured before the 
ballot was half completed. The Weaver infec- 
tion seemed to spread as State after State cast 
its vote unanimously for the Iowa man, the 
Weaver people grew enthusiastic, and when the 
result was announced the cheering was loud and 
long continued." 

The nomination was made unanimous in the 
usual manner ^Svith a hurrah and loud cheer- 
ing, ending with calls for Weaver. The General 
was not present, and a committee was appointed 
to escort him to the hall." It was after one 
o 'clock in the morning when the nomination for 
President was completed and the cheering 
ceased. With little delay balloting for a Vice 
Presidential candidate began : it resulted in the 
selection of General James G. Field of Virginia. 
General Weaver and General Field were 
brought in and given a most enthusiastic recep- 
tion. Each made an address, and at 3 A. M. the 
convention adjourned. 

In his address General Weaver declared this 
to be ^Hhe grandest moment of our civilization. 


guard' of the Urv 
Gen. Weaver'' who 
dred and ninety-five votes 
sixty-five for Kyle.^'' 
**Prom the very ■ 
Weaver led all his 
whelming was tl 
noniination was 
ballot ;- '" 
tion - 

•s represented by 

il- with nine hun- 

lundred and 

I the roll-call 

>, and so over- 

>r Mm that his 

ured before the 

"^^ave.r infec- 

r i^iate cast 

Iowa man, the 

,1c, and when the 

ng was loud and 

'!''/-•<'' '^AM ^5HifelMmous in the 
^^'.*ih'^ml'roud cheer- 
:i\ The General 
was appointed 
was after one 
nomination for 
i vvbiiiKMi\ vva- 1 the cheering 

ceased. With lii ting for a Vice 

Presidential candidate h i resulted in the 

selection of General James (i. Field of Virginia. 
General Weaver and General Field were 
brought in and given a most enthusiastic recep- 
tion. Each rdade an address, and af 3 A. M. the 
convention a^ 

In his add v . . , eaver declared this 

1^,' be ^Hhe <?i nent of our civilization. 



It is rallying the best hearts and heads of the 
Nation around the great contention of modern 
times — the great land problem, the great cur- 
rency or financial problem, and the great and 
overshadowing problem of transportation. 
These are the centres around which this great 
movement is rallying. You are right, and you 
will be triumphant as certain as we are assem- 
bled in this hall. Your faith and your work will 

^ ^ This is no longer a country governed by the 
people, and it is the great duty to-day devolving 
upon the party which you represent to rescue 
the Government from the grasp of Federal 
monopolies and restore it to the great common 
people to whom it belongs. I wish to thank you 
for the distinguished honor that you have con- 
ferred upon me, and to promise you that, in so 
far as it shall be within my power, your stand- 
ard shall not be trailed in the dust or lowered 
during this campaign. And I wish to make you 
here and now a promise that if God spares me 
and gives me strength, I shall visit every State 
in the Union and carry the banner of the people 
into the enemy's camp."^^^ 

The Eastern press minimized or ridiculed the 
nomination of Weaver, as it did that of Bryan 
in 1896; but competent observers in the West 
recognized its importance and strength. The 
Clinton Age described his nomination as of 


greater significance than any third party nomi- 
nation ''since the birth of the republican 
party", and expressed the opinion that ''the 
republican party would be injured far worse 
than the democratic party. ' ' The editor of this 
paper showed his political acumen by predicting 
the election of the Democratic candidates, al- 
though his political sympathies probably helped 
him to this decision since he was a Democrat.^^^ 

In another opinion relative to the nomination 
it was pointed out that General Weaver repre- 
sented "the Western and Southern view of the 
political situation. His election would mean 
prosperity to these two sections without impair- 
ment to the East. Able, earnest and fearless 
. . . . He takes the field against the com- 
bined forces of the two old parties, at a time 
when their determination to strangle the last 
breath of liberal sentiment and the last throb 
of patriotism out of the minds of American 
citizenship, is demonstrated by their own decla- 
rations. Patriot, statesman and orator, he is 
the strongest man who could possibly have 
been nominated, and will go on to victory, and 
the Presidency because he is the standard- 
bearer of justice, honesty, principle and liberty, 
which have so long been pushed aside by dis- 
honesty, corruption and oppression, "^s? 

A non-partisan reception was given to Gren- 
eral Weaver in Des Moines about the middle of 


July. Judge C. C. Cole, a former prominent 
Eepublican, presided, and ' ' spoke for nearly an 
hour upon political topics and the record and 
character of General Weaver". He described 
the meeting at Omaha as ^'a most remarkable 
convention'', and expressed appreciation of the 
honor conferred upon Des Moines by the choice 
of one of its citizens. After a number of other 
speakers had addressed the gathering. General 
Weaver was introduced: he thanked them for 
the ' ' demonstration ' ' and for the ^ ^ kind things ' ' 
that had been said of him, observing that ^^men 
are secondary considerations. A score of years 
hence your children will gather in meetings of 
this kind, and perhaps under better auspices. 
Men will pass away, but principles are eter- 
nal .... 

^^The new movement proposes to take care of 
the men and women of the country and not of 
the corporations. This movement is a protest 
against corporate aggression. It is a declara- 
tion of purpose to entirely obliterate sectional 
prejudice. It is a declaration that we will not 
tolerate any foreign interference with our finan- 
cial system. Another principle is that working- 
men have a right to organize to advance self- 
interest. This is to be an exciting campaign. 
Let us not be carried away by passion. Let us 
approach the ballot box reverentially. In the 
distribution of favors of the government we be- 


lieve that those who stand nearest to the earth 
should be the first partakers. We make no war 
on property rights. We simply lay deep the 
principle that those who produce property 
should use it. The problem of the present is 
resolvable into three great questions — the land 
question, the money question and the labor 
question and they are now completely controlled 
by monopoly. 

^^The whole movement can be summed up in 
one sentence:^ Equal rights for all and special 
privileges to none.^ It is simply a battle for 
liberty. Having secured the power we will 
work out the details. 

^'The great bulk of men of all parties are 
honest. That is as individuals. If you think 
your old party as a party is honestly trying in 
the right direction to remedy present evils cast 
your ballot for them. If you think our party is 
the one that is honestly striving in the right 
direction cast your vote with us. This is an 
educational campaign. We must resort to argu- 
ment. The reason the principles, the same ones 
contained in the Omaha platform, have not made 
faster growth in Iowa is that our enemies have 
had control of the press. ''^^^ 

One of the first speeches of the campaign was 
made by General Weaver on July 20th at Vin- 
cennes, Indiana, where he spoke for two hours 
on finance, land, and transportation. He said 


that lie was ^^ standing with both feet upon the 
Omaha platform. ' ' He paid high tribute to and 
expressed great admiration for Judge Gresham. 
One of the subjects to which he gave consider- 
able attention was the then recent industrial 
struggle at Homestead, where a battle between 
an armed Pinkerton force and striking work- 
men resulted in a considerable loss of life. At 
the close of the speech a collection was called 
for to meet the expenses of the national organ- 
ization, and a ^^ bushel basket was set out to 
receive the silver dollars that rained into it from 
all directions until it was half full.*'^^^ 

General Weaver's first long tour was through 
the West. He began at Denver on July 26th and 
remained in Colorado eight days, visiting nearly 
all the principal centers of population. From 
Colorado he went to Nevada, where he touched 
all the chief points in the State, holding a night 
meeting at Eeno which was addressed by Sen- 
ator Stewart and other State leaders in addition 
to the speeches made by Mrs. Lease and General 
Weaver. They were compelled to speak eight 
times in one day, so great was the interest in 
the campaign. 

From Nevada they went to Los Angeles 
where the meeting numbered from 7000 to 9000 
persons assembled from all parts of southern 
California. ^ ' At this meeting began to be mani- 
fest ' ', according to General Weaver, ^ ^ the pecu- 


liar psychological phenomena which character- 
ized the early Republican meetings throughout 
the country in 1860." The people were deeply 
in earnest, and their devotion to the cause was 
of a religious nature. Their convictions of 
right and justice had been awakened, and they 
were ready to make any sacrifice necessary to 
secure victory. From Los Angeles they went 
to Fresno, where they met fully 6000 people in 
the open-air. 

On the following day they were at Oakland, 
where they addressed an audience of 4000 to 
5000 in the afternoon, and at night they spoke 
in Mechanics ' Pavilion at San Francisco. Here 
the seating capacity of 12,000 was crowded to 
its utmost limit. The next night they were at 
Sacramento, where they had the largest audi- 
ence that had assembled in that city for many 

General Weaver and his party, which con- 
sisted of Mrs. Weaver, Mrs. Lease, and three 
others, next went to Portland, Oregon, where 
two meetings were held, ''one in the afternoon 
composed of farmers about 3,000 strong, and 
another at night, which could only be counted 
by acres". From Portland they went to Ta- 
coma where they expected simply to meet a few 
friends, but instead were greeted by a crowd of 
5000 people. At Seattle they were met by ' ' an 
innumerable crowd of enthusiastic people, 


wliicli filled the piazza and the streets leading 
to it to an extent that made it almost dangerous 
to alight from the cars. It was with great diffi- 
culty that we reached our carriages and were 
finally driven to the place of speaking. Two 
meetings were held at the same time, one ad- 
dressed by Mrs. Lease and one by myself 
[Weaver]. After each had spoken an hour, we 
alternated so as to reach all the people. We 
called it exchanging pulpits, and this had to be 
done almost every day. ' ' 

From Seattle they proceeded to Spokane 
where they had a very successful meeting. 
From there they went to Helena and Butte. 
They held three meetings in Butte, one in the 
afternoon and two at night. ''The meeting in 
the opera house was crowded to suffocation, 
and the meeting out of doors covered about two 
acres, solidly packed with people. We each 
spoke an hour and exchanged audiences, and 
spoke again for fully an hour. From Butte we 
proceeded to Cheyenne, stopping for short 
speeches at railroad stations through Idaho and 
Wyoming. The Cheyenne meeting was the 
largest ever held in Wyoming, and was charac- 
terized by the usual enthusiasm which had been 
met with all along the line. Everywhere the 
people gathered at the depot and cheered us on 
our way. They covered us with floral tributes 
and crowded our cars with refreshments, and 



manifested tlieir approval of our mission in 
every possible way. You may set down the 
whole group visited, consisting of eight states, 
as absolutely certain for the People's party 
national ticket.'' 

General Weaver expressed his approval of 
the work of Mrs. Lease in the highest terms. 
She spoke every day, and as often as he did 
himself. He described her as ^'an orator of 
marvellous power and a phenomenal psycho- 
logical force." Her hold upon the laboring 
people was something wonderful. They almost 
worshipped her from one end of the country to 
the other. 

The general plan of campaign was for Gen- 
eral Weaver to proceed next to Missouri, and 
then to Arkansas where he would remain until 
September. Mrs. Weaver and Mrs. Lease 
would join him, and they would travel through 
Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Ten- 
nessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, and West Vir- 
ginia, reserving the last twenty-five days of the 
campaign for Iowa and the Northwest.^^^ 

The Southern tour was marked by some un- 
pleasant experiences; indeed, a part of it had 
to be given up. General Weaver went from 
Missouri to Arkansas where he had an enthusi- 
astic reception. Late in August he had a very 
successful meeting at Beebe in the northern 
part of the State. The audience which num- 


bered over 5000 persons, consisted almost en- 
tirely of farmers, many of whom came from 
twenty to thirty miles to hear him: they came 
in wagons and on horseback, and occupied every 
available spot near the town with their camps. 
Weaver spoke for two hours, ^darraigning the 
old parties for their sins of omission and com- 
mission, and predicted that the pending move- 
ment would never cease till plutocracy was 
overthrown and the shackles stricken from the 
limbs of the agricultural class and industries 
generally." He was followed by '^Cyclone" 
Davis of Texas, who aroused the greatest en- 
thusiasm by his burning words.^^^ 

From Pensacola, Florida, addresses were 
issued by Weaver and Field in which they 
formally accepted their nominations. They re- 
ferred to the request made by the national com- 
mittee '^to visit the various states of the 
Union." Already one or both of them had 
visited fifteen States ; and if health and strength 
were spared to them they intended to continue 
the w^ork until the campaign ended. General 
Weaver had followed a similar plan of cam- 
paign in 1880; and it was as much because of 
his own inclination in the matter as because of 
the request of the committee that he made such 
a thorough canvass. The campaign of 1892 un- 
doubtedly suggested the remarkable tour of 
Mr. Bryan in 1896, the first of the kind to im- 


press itself upon the country and to set a new 
standard for presidential candidates. But such 
a method proves almost too strenuous for polit- 
ical leaders who are not such vigorous and 
effective speakers as Weaver and Bryan, and 
who have not been trained by years of experi- 
ence upon the platform.^^- 

About a week after the formal acceptance 
General Weaver addressed a letter to the chair- 
man of the State committee of the People's 
party of Georgia in which he announced the 
abandonment of the campaign in that State. 
He described his experiences from the time of 
his entrance at the request of the committee. 
He found ^Hhe spirit of rowdyism, at some of 
the points within the State, so great as to ren- 
der it inadvisable for me to attempt to fill the 
engagements at the points not already 
reached". He specified the treatment received 
at a number of places, culminating at Macon 
where rotten eggs were thrown, one of which 
struck Mrs. Weaver upon the head. ^^At At- 
lanta a similar crowd of rowdies gathered at 
the point of meeting, bent on tumult and dis- 
order. Learning of this Mrs. Lease and myself 
refused to appear either in the forenoon or 
evening. '' Convinced that similar treatment 
awaited them at the points not yet visited. 
Weaver declined to continue the campaign. 

The members of the Populist party, although 


largely in the majority in the State, were un- 
able to secure for them a peaceful and respect- 
ful hearing. Weaver called attention to the 
fact that the disorder was almost exclusively 
confined to the young roughs who infest the 
towns and who were incited to violence by per- 
sons who kept in the background. The country 
people were uniformly respectful and anxious 
to hear. It was especiall}^ worthy of note that 
the disorderly conduct did not proceed from 
the ex-confederate soldiers, who were ** manly, 
almost without exception, in their conduct, and 
generally in sympathy''. The police force 
seemed to make no effort to preserve order, and 
in some instances gave open countenance to the 
tumult. He added in conclusion that it was 
'^but fair to say that many good people who are 
not in sympathy with the People's party openly 
denounce these outrages, but they seem power- 
less to assert themselves. "^^-^ 

Undoubtedly the trouble was due to the polit- 
ical situation in the South, which was very 
different from that in the West. The lines were 
closely drawn between the Democrats in the 
cities and the Populists in the rural regions. 
The fight between the two groups was exceed- 
ingly bitter, and back of the tense political situ- 
ation was the race problem that has kept the 
South from breaking up politically to the pres- 
ent day. Weaver had visited the South for 


many years, and had never experienced any 
difficulty before; but in 1892 he represented a 
new movement which threatened to break up 
the Solid South. Hence the bitterness which 
led to rowdyism and disorder.^^^ 

Except for the unpleasant experiences in 
Georgia, it seems that General Weaver and his 
party had a satisfactory and successful South- 
ern campaign. He travelled through the entire 
section with the exception of West Virginia, and 
found the people accepting Populist doctrines 
*'with avidity and turning from the old parties 
almost in armies.'' His meetings in Missis- 
sippi were ^^ everyone 5,000 strong", and in 
Florida there was the greatest enthusiasm. In 
North and South Carolina their meetings were 
^ve times as large as those of General Steven- 
son, the Democratic candidate for Vice Presi- 
dent : at, Raleigh they had at least 10,000 audi- 
tors and at one other place 12,000. The outlook 
in the South he regarded as '^magnificent''. 
The majority of the white people were with the 
Populists, and with a fair count he was pretty 
sure of success in every Southern State. He 
added that he was determined to have a fair 

The Southern tour closed at Pulaski, Ten- 
nessee, early in October. A determined effort 
was made to induce Weaver to cancel his visit 
there because of charges made against him as 


military commander at that point during 1863 
and 1864; but he refused to be deterred by the 
threats of trouble. He left Nashville in the 
morning accompanied by Mrs. Weaver, Mrs. 
Lease, and two others. When the train stopped 
at the station one hundred men on mules and 
horses formed an escort around his carriage. 
A band led the procession through the town, 
and out to the fair grounds a mile away where 
the speaking began at noon. The town was full 
of horsemen and men on mules, in cotton carts, 
and in road wagons. There were no weapons in 
sight. The Democratic leaders were working 
vigorously from sunrise to prevent trouble. 

After discussing party issues General Weaver 
said: '^I am not and never was afraid of any- 
thing on earth. They said I would not dare to 
come here. Some of the tenderest memories of 
my life are here, memories of the good people 
with whom I lived here. I was a subordinate 
officer, a military Mayor. I was the guest of the 
best families here and for the first time I am 
accused of tyranny w^hile here. I did make a 
levy by orders and gave a receipt for every dol- 
lar. Men do not give receipts for property they 

^'I am accused of extortion, of taking money 
to release men from prison, of selling passports, 
of putting women out of their homes, of abusing 
confederate soldiers. I do not care who said 


these things or who swore to them, they are 
absolute falsehoods. They are trying to beat 
me by fraud with the aid of a campaign liar, 
but they cannot do it. I have no apologies to 
make for doing my duty as a Union soldier, and 
want none from you who wore the gray.'' 

This reply made the Populists cheer and the 
Democrats wince. Some one tried to make a 
disturbance, but he was suppressed. Mrs. 
Lease closed the meeting with a speech. Then 
the procession returned to town, and moved 
around the court house square where a Demo- 
cratic meeting was in progress. The speaker 
denounced Weaver, and there were moments 
when a word or a gesture might have brought 
trouble and led to a general battle in the town. 
Before the meeting broke up resolutions were 
offered describing Weaver '^as a military ty- 
rant, a renegade legislator, and a scoundrel as 
a man.'' 

When shown these resolutions Weaver said 
that ''they were adopted by a small crowd of 
cowards and defamers, who refused to hear my 
answer to their charges. They were discom- 
fited and whipped on their own ground. They 
slunk away conscious of their crimes. ' ' General 
Weaver and his party were then escorted to 
their train by four armed men mounted on 
mules. Mrs. Weaver declared that she had not 
passed ''so anxious and awful a day since the 


war." This experience, like those in Georgia, 
resulted from a strained political situation to 
which recollections of Civil War controversies 
added local seriousness. General Weaver's 
fearlessness conquered the respect of the ma- 
jority, leaving only a few who tried to stir up 

From Pulaski General Weaver went to St. 
Louis where the national headquarters of the 
Populist party were located. After a short rest 
he spent the day in consultation with chairman 
H. E. Taubeneck of the national committee upon 
the exigencies of the campaign. He filled a few 
appointments in Missouri, and then left to meet 
engagements in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minne- 
sota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. He 
expected to conduct an energetic campaign up 
to the day of election. Of the West he believed 
the Populists were reasonably certain; and 
while he made no claims — not thinking it to be 
good politics — he asserted that the new party 
was quite strong in the East. The old parties 
represented the bitterness and cruelties of the 
past and must give way to the new order of 
things .^^"^ 

Soon after the close of General Weaver's 
campaign in the South, Murat Halstead came 
out in an article in the Cincinnati Inquirer, com- 
menting upon the treatment which he, as an old 
soldier, had received, saying that he could per- 


form a great service by withdrawing his can- 
didacy and denouncing the South. Such action 
would, of course, result in advantage to the Ee- 
publican party. 

About the same time General Weaver also 
received a long letter from Albion W. Tourgee, 
the novelist, containing a similar request. This 
letter suggested that if he remained in the tield 
as a candidate ^Hhe election of Grover Cleve- 
land, with the 'solid South', as his controlling 
force'' was '^ possible, perhaps probable. Every 
vote for you increases this probability. That 
fact at this time, means the permanent estab- 
lishment and entrenchment in the most impreg- 
nable legal forms, of that Southern spirit of 
intolerance and determination to rule or ruin, 
of which you and I have in our own persons had 
more than one exemplification." Mr. Tourgee 
then raised the question whether General 
Weaver could ''not by withdrawing about Nov. 
1st, assigning as a reason your deep conviction 
of the need of concentrating the active senti- 
ment of the country on this subject, do a service 
to the country greater than you have ever done 
before or will ever have an opportunity to do 
again!" Furthermore, he asked if his "per- 
sonal and political interests" would not be "en- 
hanced thereby!" He pointed out that General 
Weaver had "always been credited by Repub- 
licans with a very strong sense of patriotism. 


Even when farthest estranged, they have con- 
ceded that. Your honesty of motive and high 
impulse have been admitted under circum- 
stances that are rather surprising. 

*^ Should you take this course, the whole Ke- 
publican party, nearly the whole of the Populist 
party at the North and a good many at the 
South, with a considerable portion of the Demo- 
crats, will admit the sincerity, propriety and 
patriotism of your action. You will compel 
attention to this subject that no other act of 
any other person could, and no one could charge 
that it was for any personal advantage. At the 
same time, it could not inure to your detri- 

At one of General Weaver's meetings in the 
South, at which Mrs. Weaver was present, two 
men appeared and sought to interest him finan- 
cially in the withdrawal of his candidacy. Of 
course these men were dismissed very promptly. 
Nor is there any indication or reason to sup- 
pose that General Weaver gave serious consid- 
eration to Tourgee's proposal. All three 
incidents make it clear that his candidacy in 
1892 was regarded as of serious importance, 
and that it was thought likely to have an impor- 
tant influence upon the results of the election.^^^ 

One of the methods used for raising funds to 
carry on the campaign was the sale of a book by 
General Weaver entitled A Call to Action. This 


book was published in 1891 and embodied in 
systematic form the principles and policies for 
which he had been contending since 1877. It 
was sold for $1.50 per copy. The preface states 
that the author ^s object in publishing the book 
was ^^to call attention to some of the more seri- 
ous evils which now disturb the repose of Amer- 
ican society and threaten the overthrow of free 

^'We are nearing a serious crisis '^ reads the 
preface. ^^If the present strained relations be- 
tween wealth owners and wealth producers con- 
tinue much longer they will ripen into frightful 
disaster. This universal discontent must be 
quickly interpreted and its causes removed. It 
is the country's imperative Call to Action, and 
can not be longer disregarded with impunity. 

^'The sovereign right to regulate commerce 
among our magnificent union of States, and to 
control the instruments of commerce, the right 
to issue the currency and to determine the 
money supply for sixty-three million people and 
their posterity, have been leased to associated 
speculators. The brightest lights of the legal 
profession have been lured from their honor- 
able relation to the people in the administration 
of justice, and through evolution in crime the 
corporation has taken the place of the pirate; 
and finally a bold and aggressive plutocracy has 
usurped the Government and is using it as a 


policeman to enforce its insolent decrees . . 
. . The public domain has been squandered, 
our coal fields bartered away, our forests de- 
nuded, our people impoverished, and we are 
attempting to build a prosperous common- 
wealth among people who are being robbed of 
their homes .... The corporation has 
been placed above the individual and an armed 
body of cruel mercenaries permitted, in times 
of public peril, to discharge police duties which 
clearly belong to the State. Wall Street has 
become the Western extension of Threadneedle 
and Lombard streets, and the wealthy classes 
of England and America have been brought into 
touch. . . . 

'^But the present stupendous uprising among 
the industrial people of the new world con- 
founds them. It is the second revolt of the 
colonies. It required seven years for our 
fathers to overthrow the outward manifesta- 
tions of tyranny in colonial days. But our 
weapons now are not carnal, but mighty to the 
pulling down of strongholds. Their children 
can vanquish the American and British plutoc- 
racy combined in a single day — at the ballot- 
box. They have resolved to do it. . . . 

^^We have made no attack upon individuals, 
but have confined our criticisms to evil systems 
and baleful legislation. We have endeavored 
to be accurate, but claim no literary merit for 
our effort. "269 


This book was of course no patiently wrought 
out study of existing conditions: it comprised 
rather the substance of the matter which Gen- 
eral Weaver had been presenting upon the plat- 
form and in Congress for many years. While 
many of his opinions about currency and finance 
which were impracticable and visionary have 
been wisely ignored, a careful and thoughtful 
examination of his book shows an astonishing 
amount of anticipation of real evils and abuses 
long before they became apparent to the coun- 
try at large. To mention only a few instances 
the criticism of the Senate as influenced by cor- 
porations and made up of the very rich men, 
the autocratic power of the Speaker of the 
House of Eepresentatives, the conservation 
movement, and the need of a more adequate and 
elastic currency and banking system provided 
for by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 are all 
anticipated by this pioneer in social politics. 
The platform of 1880, the Weaver speeches in 
Congress, especially from 1885 to 1889, the 
platform of 1892, and A Call to Action, are the 
documents that paved the way for Bryan in 
1896, for Roosevelt from 1901 to 1909, and 
which culminated in the Progressive platform 
of 1912 : they are the real foundations for much 
of the accomplishment of the first administra- 
tion of President Wilson and an important 
element in his reelection in 1916. Demands of 


the progressives of both parties since 1900 have 
been based largely upon the demands of Weaver 
in his campaigns from 1880 to 1900. The elec- 
tion of 1916 resulted in the union of the West 
and South — the union that Weaver hoped for 
and worked for in 1892.^'^^ 

At the general election in November, 1892, 
Oeneral Weaver received 1,027,329 votes out of 
a total of 12,000,000 — eight and five-tenths per 
cent compared with forty-six and two-tenths 
per cent for the Democratic candidates and 
forty-five and one-tenth per cent for the Repub- 
lican. Of the four hundred and forty-four elec- 
toral votes he received twenty-two. For the 
first and only time since 1860 a third party can- 
didate had won a place in the electoral college. 
The States that voted for him were Colorado 
four votes, Idaho three, Kansas ten, Nevada 
three, North Dakota one, and Oregon one . The 
Democrats nominated no electors in Colorado, 
Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, and Wyoming, 
but voted for the Populist candidates. In Ne- 
vada they named a ticket, but voted generally 
for the Populist electors. In North Dakota and 
Minnesota there was partial fusion; and in 
Oregon the Democrats accepted one of the Pop- 
ulist ^electors. In Louisiana the Republicans 
and Populists fused. Negotiations for fusion 
between Democrats and Populists in Iowa 
failed, because the Populists insisted that the 


Democrats must indorse their electoral ticket 
in full. The vote for Weaver in his home State 
was 20,595 out of a total of 443,159, or about 
four and one-half per cent/^"^ 

The only section of the country that came up 
to Weaver's hopes and anticipations was the 
Far West, especially the mining States of Colo- 
rado, Idaho, and Nevada, where the production 
of silver was the chief industry. His enthusi- 
astic campaign produced concrete results in the 
electoral votes cast for him by the States of 
that section — ten out of the twenty-two. 

Kansas was, of course, the banner State of 
Populism and gave him the largest support of 
any single State. The economic conditions of 
the farmers in Kansas in the early nineties 
explain the strength of Populism there. 

Weaver's expectation of a large Populist 
vote in the South proved altogether too opti- 
mistic, although Texas, Alabama, North Caro- 
lina, and Georgia contributed over 270,000 to 
the popular vote. The situation in the South 
was described in a letter written to Weaver by 
A. M. West from Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 
September, 1892. He said that ''we [the Popu- 
lists] have the country vote. The democrats 
have the town vote and the Count and, I am per- 
suaded, will use the same regardless of right or 
justice to perpetuate democratic rule in this 
state. The cunningly devised provisions of our 


state constitution and statutory laws establishes 
an absolute Party despotism, in this state, as 
intolerant and tyrannical as human ingenuity 
can make it, under the supremacy of the consti- 
tution of the United States. It is truly fearful 
to contemplate the decay of patriotism and 
political honesty and the all pervading corrup- 
tion of party leaders. They do not hesitate to 
adopt and execute any methods to accomplish 
their unholy purposes. They are oblivious to 
the sublime teachings and examples of the 
founders of the republic. They are unscru- 
pulous in their defamation of human character. 
In their mad pursuit of power they ignore 
social and religious ties and make the supreme 
rule of their party the God of their worship. 
For these reasons we work, in this state, with 
no expectation that the vote, however cast, will 
be counted otherwise than for the democratic 
party. I admire and honor you for your heroic 
struggle in the great work of reformation and 
trust that your efforts will ultimately be 
crowned with a glorious success. "^"^^ 

The States that gave the largest popular 
votes for General Weaver w^ere the following: 


163,111 VOTES 



99,418 VOTES 



85,181 VOTES 



83,134 VOTES 



53,584 VOTES 

Far West 




North Carolina 

44,732 VOTES 



42,937 VOTES 



41,213 VOTES 



29,313 VOTES 



26,965 VOTES 


YR West 

South Dakota 

26,544 VOTES 



25,311 VOTES 


iR West 

Of these States five were Southern, four 
Western, and three Far Western, indicating 
that the Populist strength was widely distrib- 
uted through the West and South. Evidently 
there were latent possibilities for the formation 
of a strong sectional party. Weaver's vision 
foresaw the development of such a party, as he 
had seen the Eepublican party emerge in 1854 
and 1856. What actually happened has been 
the permeation, first of the Democratic and 
then of the Republican party until American 
politics have become social. Weaver's intuition 
was sound in essentials, although we still await 
the establishment of a social democratic party. 
The campaign of 1892 was merely the prologue 
to that of 1896 and 1912. 

General Weaver published an address to the 
people which was dated at Des Moines, Novem- 
ber 16, 1892. He pointed out to 'Hhe friends of 
reform throughout the Union" that the new 
party *^ unaided by money" had achieved '^sur- 
prising success at the polls. We are but little 
behind the Republican party in the number of 


States carried. As a result of the late election 
we will doubtless hold the balance of power, in 
the Senate of the United States. We have 
doubled the number of our adherents in the 
House of Representatives, secured control of a 
number of State governments, hold the balance 
of power in a majority of the States of the 
Union, and have succeeded in arousing a spirit 
of political independence among the people of 
the Northwest which cannot be disregarded in 
the future. . . . 

**The accession of the other party [Demo- 
cratic] to power is the result of violent reaction 
and not, I am sure, of the deliberate judgment 
of the American people. The battle leaders of 
the triumphant party are without any well- 
defined policy, except that of contemptuous dis- 
regard for every element of reform within the 
ranks of their own party, and among the people 
at large. The new administration will ignore 
the great contentions of modern times relating 
to land, money and transportation, and will not 
attempt to solve either. In fact, the whole force 
of the new regime will be exercised to prevent 
reform in these important matters. The urgent 
demand of the people for the free coinage of 
silver is to be disdainfully ignored, and new 
obstacles will, doubtless, be interposed to 
further restrict the use of the white metal. . . . 

^'The issues pressing for solution are simply 


tremendous, and the situation portentious. 
Our party has not made its advent too soon. 
Its mission is to restore to our government its 
original and only legitimate function, which has 
been well nigh lost by non-use, that of assuring 
to all its citizens — the weak as well as the 
mighty — the unmolested enjoyment of their 
inalienable rights.'^ Kef erring to the relations 
between labor and capital as ''now upon a war 
footing '*, he declared that the repressive policy 
''will not work well in the nineteenth century 
. . . . It denies to labor the right to organ- 
ize, relies upon the military arm to sustain 
corporate pretentions, and when labor organiza- 
tions defend themselves against armed mercen- 
aries, it adjudges the members to be guilty of 
treason. . . . 

"The violent political storm of 1888 and 1892, 
which first swept the Democratic candidate, 
then the Republican party from power in spite 
of the weight of patronage which they carried, 
signify a turbulent condition of the political 
atmosphere which plainly foreshadows an ap- 
proaching crisis. It were better that it be not 
hastened by the enactment of measures which 
savor of usurpation and the extension of class 

"I sincerely trust that the work of organiza- 
tion and education may now be pushed with 
energy throughout all the States. The field is 


ours and we must occupy it without delay. '^^"^^ 
At another time he described the Populist 
party as ^Hhe coming factor in national poli- 
tics, and its advent to national supremacy be- 
fore the dawn of the twentieth century is 
assured. It holds the key to the political situa- 
tion in America, and will battle again next year 
with the strength of a young giant in every state 
in the union for the free coinage of silver and 
the whole range of economic reforms now cry- 
ing for solution. The future of free coinage of 
silver is assured and free coinage will follow. 
This is the first reform to be accomplished, and 
we [will] make short work of it.''^*^* 

Again he spoke of the situation in the United 
States as ^^ parallel to the conditions that led to 
the French Eevolution. We have our noblesse 
the same as France, and, as in the days of 
Louis, the United States has its third estate." 
In answer to the question whether he thought 
the third party was increasing in strength, he 
replied that he certainly did. ^' There is every 
evidence of prodigious growth. There will un- 
doubtedly be a rapid consolidation of all indus- 
trial forces with the great body of business men 
throughout the Union. The trades unions are 
already on the move for political action, and 
the Knights of Labor and the various farmer 
organizations are already so. The tendency is 
unmistakable everywhere. I consider a great 


political revolution inevitable. It promises to 
be both peaceful and conservative. "^"^^ 

Later, while in New England upon a lecture 
tour, General Weaver was interviewed in Bos- 
ton. He looked ^'the picture of health'', and 
appeared '^not the least affected with the large- 
ness of his vote in the late election". In reply 
to questions upon the political situation, he 
answered that in his opinion the Eepublican 
party was ^^permanently disabled in the West 
as was the Whig party in 1852 ' '. It had ^ * fallen 
to pieces in the presence of the overshadowing 
issues that have been evolved in the last quarter 
of a century's growth". The return of the 
Democratic party to power was *'a mere acci- 
dent", and ^'not the result of the deliberate 
purpose of a majority of the people of the 
United States. . . . 

^'The Eepublican party will rapidly disinte- 
grate everywhere — in fact it is doing so now 
— and the anti-monopoly elements in both of 
the old parties will affiliate with the Populists, 
just as the Free Soil elements affiliated with the 
Republicans between 1856 and 1860. . . . 

^'The old parties represent the past. They 
are like two hostile armies inspired with bitter- 
ness and stained with blood. The Populists 
have a different mission, thank fortune. 

^^ Their face is turned toward the glorious 
future, and they are trying to introduce the 


golden rule into politics and to lift the people 
to the plane of the sermon on the mount. "^'^^ 

General Weaver contributed to a symposium 
devoted to a consideration of the election re- 
sults in The Iowa State Register early in De- 
cember, 1892 ; Hon. W. W. Witmer represented 
the Democrats; and Hon. W. M. McFarland 
spoke for the Republicans. The discussion 
presented excellently the point of view of the 
three parties. General Weaver's contribution 
was given first place and was first in impor- 
tance. It was the only one that undertook a 
real analysis of the situation and tried to get at 
fundamentals; the others played upon the sur- 
face of things or repeated political platitudes. 
Mr. Witmer did not mention the new political 
party represented by General Weaver, and Mr. 
McFarland devoted two lines to it.^'^'^ 



From Populist to Democrat 


The results of the election of 1892 made General 
Weaver a political factor of considerable im- 
portance, since the rallying of over one million 
) voters to the standard of the new party in its 
first national campaign aroused a good deal of 
apprehension among the leaders of the old 
parties which had been quite evenly balanced in 
the recent presidential elections. For the time 
being it seemed possible that the Populist party 
was at the stage of development of the Repub- 
lican party in 1856, and that it might be about 

^ to replace one of the older parties as that party 

had replaced the Whig party. 

) Under the disturbed political conditions the 

new party was likely to be earnestly courted by 
its older competitors. To gain its support both 
Democrats and Republicans would be ready to 
make proposals and concessions. Political acci- 
dent happened to give the Democrats the first 
opportunity, and they absorbed most of the 
Populist vote in 1896. Weaver's place in the 
alliance of Populists and Democrats could not 



but be an important one after he had turned 
over the million votes of 1892 together with the 
additions made since that year. 

Soon after the election the Clinton Age re- 
ferred to a prediction by a Des Moines paper 
that General Weaver would be the next United 
States Senator from Iowa. The opinion was 
based upon the supposition that he would work 
up fusions in counties where the Populists held 
the balance of power, and that these representa- 
tives would be the deciding factor in the next 
General Assembly. If the Democrats continued 
to vote for Populist candidates, his election 
would be very likely to result.^"^^ The union of 
Democrats and Populists, by the former sup- 
porting the candidates of the latter, was sug- 
gested in this statement instead of what did 
actually happen — the absorption of the Popu- 
lists by the Democrats. Weaver was always 
ready to cooperate w^ith other parties provided 
they were willing to support the principles in 
which he believed. Immediately after the suc- 
cess of 1892 it was easy to anticipate the growth 
of the Populists by accessions from the Demo- 
cratic party. Actual developments from 1892 
to 1896 turned the movement in the opposite 
direction — in any event the more probable 
course in view of party history in this country. 

Weaver's attitude towards fusion at this 
time is shown by his opinion of the election of 


a free-silver Democrat as Senator from Kansas 
by a combination of Democrats and Populists. 
He thought ^^that the very best possible result 
was accomplished .... Judge Martin is 
a man of splendid character and first-class abil- 
ity. He has for years been openly in accord 
with the doctrines of the People's party and 
hence incurred the bitter opposition of the 
machine Democrats in his own state .... 
The judge is a free silver man, opposed to the 
National banks and in favor of an increase of 
the circulating medium until the volume is suf- 
ficient to place the business of the country on a 
cash basis. I trust, however, he is the last so- 
called Democrat to be elected by Populists^ 
votes. ^'^"^^ His judgment in a concrete case, 
when he was in a most optimistic frame of mind 
as to the future of the new party, makes it plain 
that he had not changed his settled conviction 
as to the value of fusion between parties work- 
ing for the same purposes. Throughout his 
career as an independent he was ready to co- 
operate if thereby the principles in which he 
believed would be advanced. 

During 1893 he continued the campaign of 
education in which he had been engaged for 
many years, and which had simply been en- 
larged and accentuated in 1892. Late in Janu- 
ary and early in February he made a tour of 
Arizona, speaking at a number of points and 


receiving the most courteous and hospitable 
treatment. He found the people unanimous for 
free silver and coming into the Populist party 
in large numbers. ^^ Since the November elec- 
tion the Eepublican party is a thing of the past, 
while anti-monopoly free silver Democrats have 
more sense than to look to a Wall street admin- 
istration for their cherished reforms. "^^^ 

A letter written just after his return from 
Arizona described his position and plans at that 
time. He was going East for a series of meet- 
ings, which were to begin at Cooper Union in 
New York City and from there extend through 
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
Maine, and New Jersey. It was his '^purpose 
to represent the silver interests in all these 
meetings and start the current of public opinion 
in the right direction in those localities. The 
Silver Club is the proper form of organization 
as it is comparatively easy to secure pledges 
from the voters as .... in Colorado, not 
to vote for any candidate for an important office 
who is not in favor of the free coinage of silver. 
This is the line upon which the battle should be 
fought. It is the line of the least resistance and 
we should hurl our forces against it at every 
point. I shall reach home about the first of 
March and shall then take up the work of club 
organizations which will mean time be in prog- 
ress of formation throughout the State.'' He 


referred to the work in behalf of free silver 
throughout the country and expressed his will- 
ingness to cooperate with it at all times.^^^ 

During July free silver meetings were held 
in Des Moines, and among the speakers were 
General Weaver and Congressman William J. 
Bryan of Nebraska. These meetings were a 
part of the silver propaganda which had its 
chief source in the silver-mining States of the 
Far West. There was a national organization 
known as the American Bi-metallic League 
which was closely associated with the Populist 
party. During 1893 meetings were held at 
Washington in February, at Chicago in August, 
and at St. Louis in October. The session at 
Chicago reported forty-two States and Terri- 
tories represented and eight hundred and ten 
delegates in attendance. Bryan was associated 
with this agitation, and in connection with it he 
gained the experience that enabled him in 1896 
to carry the Democratic convention by storm 
with his ^^ Cross of Gold'' speech. There was 
widespread dissatisfaction among the people of 
the West and South, due to the economic condi- 
tions of the period, and the free silver orators 
were eagerly listened to when they presented 
their panacea.^^^ 

While in Detroit in August it appears that 
General Weaver was interviewed by a repre- 
sentative of the Detroit Free Press in the 


course of which he indicated his position in 
regard to the political situation as it had devel- 
oped since the election. Incidentally he also 
gave an account of his recent activities. He 
described himself as '^ engaged in visiting vari- 
ous states, talking to the people. I have put in 
thirty days in Kansas, Missouri, North Caro- 
lina, and New York. The meetings have been 
large, something like 2,500 to 10,000 every day. 
A great political revolution is pending among 
the people — the greatest I have ever seen. 
The financial situation has increased the public 
interest in political matters. I find that the 
Kepublican party has been largely destroyed as 
a factor in national politics and the Democratic 
party is badly crippled .... At present 
the free silver and anti-monopolist elements 
and all who believe that America should have 
an independent system of finance are coming 
together without regard to party. There is no 
necessity for the two gold parties in this coun- 
try .... The Republicans and Demo- 
crats will join hands during the present session 
to repeal the Sherman act, to destroy silver and 
to establish the single gold basis. The financial 
situation is deplorable. The country is losing 
twice as much money per day by the enforced 
idleness of our people as it was at any time 
during the late war. Autumn is almost here 
and winter is approaching and millions of our 


industrious people are without food or employ- 

^^The administration and its advisers are as 
oblivious to the situation as was Louis XVI. at 
the beginning of the French Revolution. The 
most fearful consideration of the whole affair 
is that even with best intentions it would be 
difficult to provide relief before winter sets in. 
But no relief will be provided by the present 
administration. The most that is looked for is 
the repeal of the Sherman act and a few more 
privileges granted to the national banks. In 
order to secure the repeal of the Sherman law 
the bank interests may conclude to let the south 
have a few^ state banks of issue and may permit 
the repeal of the ten per cent, tax on issue of 
state banks. Rely upon it, everything will be 
done to enable the banks to control the volume 
of money of the country. ' ^ 

When General Weaver was asked about the 
future of the Populist party in the same inter- 
view he replied: ''It is the only party that 
polled votes in every state. It is growing 
prodigiously, and is the only party fighting for 
an American system of finance and the increase 
of our volume of money. It is the only party 
making an honest effort to shake the trusts, 
corporations, syndicates and combines from the 
throats of the people. It is impossible that an 
industrial nation should disregard such an 


organization. They must give it their sup- 

He described the old parties in Iowa as ^'dis- 
organized — the Democratic party on the silver 
question and the Republican party also on that 
question, with the additional affliction of dis- 
agreement on the prohibition matter, "^ss 

The Populist State Convention met in Des 
Moines in September. It was a noisy and ir- 
regular acting body, according to The Iowa 
State Register, which also declared that Gen- 
eral Weaver controlled it, drew up the platform 
and presented it.^^^ Undoubtedly the platform 
represented his views put in concrete form for 
campaign purposes in 1893. It was devoted to 
the money question very largely as ''the one 
overshadowing, all-absorbing issue". The only 
party that voted "as a unit against the tricks 
of the millionaires is the People's party. There 
are only two parties to-day — the People 's 
party and the gold party. ' ' 

Other resolutions favored the election of 
President, Vice President, and United States 
Senators by direct vote of the people ; demand- 
ed the abolition of all trusts and unlawful com- 
binations in trade ; denounced the attacks made 
upon pensions "as a part and parcel of the 
monied conspiracy which demands that no 
money shall pass from the government to the 
people without first passing through the toll 


gates of the banks'^; and referred to ^^the utter 
demoralization of the Democratic and Repub- 
lican parties .... in their attitude toward 
the liquor question. They are engaged in an 
attempt to outbid one another for the support 
of the saloon element in the state, and are seek- 
ing to drown by their cry for the saloon every 
other important consideration relating to the 
public welfare. We demand that the present 
law shall remain until such time as it can be re- 
placed by what is known as State and National 
control with all profits eliminated — which we 
believe to be the true method of dealing with 
the question. ' ' A final resolution urged ' ^ equal 
political rights for all adult citizens without 
regard to sex.^'^^^ 

This platform includes the chief items in 
which Weaver w^as interested in those years, 
and it roughly indicates the order of their im- 
portance in his opinion. The crisis of 1893 and 
the struggle then going on over the repeal of 
the silver purchase clause of the Sherman Act 
concentrated popular attention upon the money 
question and drew the lines more and more 
closely between the advocates of free coinage 
of silver and those who saw safety only in the 
single gold standard. 

The year 1894 was one of industrial and so- 
cial unrest in the United States, due largely to 
the prevailing business depression that fol- 


lowed the crisis of the preceding year. Bodies 
of men known as ^^Coxey" or '' industrial'' 
armies crossed the country from the Pacific 
Coast to Washington during the months from 
March to June. They were described by one 
writer as ^'but the byplay of the social move- 
ment.'' Much more serious were the labor con- 
troversies of the year, reaching a climax in the 
great railroad strike of July. Some slight dis- 
turbances occurred in Iowa as a result, but the 
State was not seriously involved. One of the 
industrial armies, the so-called ** Kelly's 
Army", passed through during April and May; 
it was in Des Moines from Sunday, April 29th, 
to Wednesday, May 9th. 

General Weaver devoted almost his entire 
time to the army w^hile it was in Des Moines 
and vicinity. He drove out to the temporary 
camp near the city on Sunday morning and 
spoke to the men, who gave him a cordial greet- 
ing. He told them that as long as they did not 
violate any law their *^ marching petition" was 
invincible. He was in full sympathy with the 
objects of the movement and so were the great 
majority of the people in his opinion. He ad- 
vised them to ^^keep on and get work. When 
you get work that is all you want. ' ' 

Monday night General Weaver addressed a 
meeting in the interests of the army at the 
Trades Assembly Hall at which ^* General" 



Kelly, its leader, also spoke. The hall was so, 
crowded that the meeting was forced to adjourn 
to the court house square. Among other things 
Weaver urged appropriations to open the arid 
lands of the West so that homeless people could 
make homes for themselves. The next after- 
noon a meeting at the Opera House was ad- 
dressed by Weaver, Kelly, and Sovereign. On 
Thursday morning about three hundred labor- 
ing men marched to the Capitol to ask the 
Governor for transportation from the State. 
General Weaver was described by the Clinton 
Age as *^ master of ceremonies". Governor 
Jackson read letters from the railroads refus- 
ing to carry the men for less than regular fare, 
but he promised to lay the matter before the 
Executive Council, and he thought that funds 
might be obtained to take the army by boats to 
the Mississippi Eiver. This plan was finally 
adopted and the army started down the Des 
Moines River. The citizens of Des Moines paid 
the cost of the boats and furnished one day's 

The Midland Monthly for June, 1894, con- 
tained a short article by General Weaver under 
the title of The Commonweal Crusade, in which 
lie gave his opinion of the significance of the 
invasion of Iowa. While General Weaver pre- 
sented a sympathetic view of the ^^ crusade '^ 
:another article in the same number of the maga- 


zine disclosed a radically different attitude. 
General Weaver regarded the industrial armies 
as representative of millions of hungry, pov- 
erty-stricken people working at starvation 
wages without hope of any improvement in 
their condition. They were ^'a forecast of the 
great conflicts and reforms" which were to 
make *Hhe closing years of the nineteenth and 
the early years of the twentieth centuries the 
most important epoch which has ever dawned 
upon Christian civilization." 

The lasting achievements of the American 
and French revolutions were the declarations 
of human rights but these rights had been made 
merchandise of in the United States, wrote Gen- 
eral Weaver. This was *^the prime cause and 
origin of the whole difficulty in a nutshell. ' ' The 
appeal of these armies was not selfish. They 
protested against wrongs which had become 
universal and intolerable, and the safety of 
society at large depended upon speedy and 
proper adjustment. The armies declared for 
the commonweal: they represented the vast 
excluded multitude. ^'They can not till the 
earth in their own right, for they have been 
fenced out by land monopoly. They can not 
pass rapidly to and from the seat of govern- 
ment to present their grievances, for they are 
excluded from the great highways by their pov- 
erty .... They are denied the right to labor. 


Employment cannot be found .... Their 
written petitions are spurned with derision, 
and when they attempt to march in person to 
present their grievances they are pursued by 
the wolf of hunger and beset with armed militia 
and the policeman's club. . . . 

^^ Every student of our times knows what they 
want. They want labor, independence, homes, 
and the ready money which these indispensable 
factors will bring. Society, through state and 
national government, is abundantly able to 
quickly solve the whole vexed problem. If we 
hesitate, we will pay the penalty at a very early 

In 1894, as in the preceding year, General 
Weaver took an active part in the proceedings 
of the Populist State convention — which met 
at Des Moines early in September. After the 
organization of the convention and the appoint- 
ment of committees. General Weaver was called 
for and made a speech in which he expressed 
his satisfaction at the presence of so many per- 
sons devoted to the interests of *^our glorious 
young party.'' He criticised the Republican 
party and pointed out that more persons were 
killed and wounded each year upon the rail- 
roads under the interstate commerce law passed 
by that party than in the battle of Shiloh. He 
said that was the way the Eepublicans pro- 
tected the workingmen. He urged breadth and 


liberality ^^to build up a great party. You 
can't have all honest men in any party — it 
would live forever, and no party ought to live 
more than three terms of power. ^I am a mid- 
dle-of-the-road man, but I don't propose to lie 
down across it so no one can get over me. 
Nothing grows in the middle of the road'.''^^^ 
He concluded by declaring that it was possible 
for the Populists to elect seven members to 
Congress with the aid of the Democrats. 

A resolution was proposed for ^^the adoption 
of a comprehensive amendment to the federal 
constitution, which shall reenact all valuable 
portions of the constitution of 1789 as subse- 
quently amended and incorporate therein those 
necessary reforms which are now constitution- 
ally impracticable, including elective United 
States senators, a single term of the presidency, 
determined by popular vote, an elective su- 
preme court holding office for a definite term, 
with similar subordinate courts, direct legisla- 
tion by the people through the initiative and 
referendum, and such broad extensions of pop- 
ular rights as shall set the people absolutely 
free to govern themselves in their own way and 
to conduct in their national or local capacity 
such industries as may be withdrawn by monop- 
oly from individual competition, and such other 
enterprises as may meet the public approval as 
properly subject to popular conduct." The 


resolution closed with a call for ^^a mass con- 
vention of the American people to assemble in 
. . . . Des Moines on the first Monday in 
December, 1894, to consider the necessary 
amendment of the fundamental law of the 

The reasons for the proposed amendment are 
given in the preamble in these words: *^We 
share the admiration which moved a great mod- 
ern statesman to declare our present federal 
constitution the most perfect work ever thrown 
off by the human mind at one time ; but we hold 
that it is now essentially a product of a by-gone 
age, too. inflexible for the varied conditions of 
modern life, warped, blurred and burdened by 
judicial construction, and practically not open 
to amendment except as the result of war or 
supreme, universal and protracted effort.'' 

When this *^ sweeping constitution-repealing 
resolution" was brought up General Weaver 
characterized it as *^ conservative", and he fa- 
vored its adoption. One of the delegates de- 
scribed it '^as a very singular thing", and 
moved to lay it on the table. '^The viva voce 
was close, and a standing vote was called for 
which laid the resolution on the table by a large 
majority. "^^^ 

The opinion entertained by General Weaver 
that the Populists might elect seven members of 
Congress in 1894 is emphasized by the fact that 


lie had already been nominated for Congress in 
the ninth district, although he had been a resi- 
dent of Des Moines since 1890. The selection 
of a non-resident is noteworthy, since it exposed 
him to criticism during the campaign and may 
have weakened him as a candidate. If elected 
he planned to remove from Des Moines and take 
up his permanent residence in Council Bluffs 
but his defeat put an end to such a change.^^^ 
His nomination for Congress was probably 
the result of the growth of sentiment for the 
free coinage of silver in the West. The na- 
tional administration by its course was arous- 
ing the antagonism of many western Democrats. 
The friends of the administration, aided by 
Federal office-holders, maintained control of the 
State conventions until 1896 ; but in many Con- 
gressional districts the majority pronounced in 
favor of free coinage, nominating free silver 
Democrats, or fused with the Populists and 
endorsed their candidates. There was no 
serious effort to bring about fusion upon the 
State ticket, but fusion candidates were agreed 
upon in ^ve districts — the third, seventh, 
eighth, ninth, and tenth. The movement that 
was to lead to national fusion in 1896 thus 
began in Iowa two years earlier.^^^ 

The Congressional convention met at Council 
Bluffs on August 8th and endorsed Weaver's 
candidacy by a vote of seventy to twenty. He 


was described as the choice of none of the 
Democrats individually, but of three-fourths of 
them collectively. The majority of the com- 
mittee on resolutions reported in favor of the 
free coinage of silver, while a minority report 
was made by the anti-silver men who withdrew 
immediately thereafter, claiming that the ma- 
jority report was a packed affair and demand- 
ing another deal. There were many threats of 
the nomination of an anti-silver candidate, but 
nothing of the kind materialized. Weaver un- 
doubtedly represented the majority in the dis- 
trict. The chief strength of the anti-silver 
forces was probably among the Democratic 

General Weaver had a tremendous fight on 
his hands. The Eepublicans put forth especial 
efforts to save their candidate and to defeat 
Weaver, and in addition he could not count 
upon the support of the anti-silver Democrats. 
Senator Allison and Congressman Dolliver 
were sent into the district ; and leading Repub- 
licans, like McKinley of Ohio and Reed of 
Maine, were regarded as necessary to save the 
day for the Republicans. Charges were also 
made that considerable money was used to 
secure Weaver ^s defeat. He devoted much of 
his campaign to a discussion of the free coinage 
of silver, which he maintained would remedy 
the need for more money, and would not pro- 


duce the evils that its opponents prophesied. 
He also urged the reduction of the tariff, gov- 
ernment control of railroads, an income tax, 
and the election of United States Senators by 
the direct vote of the people.^^^ 

The election resulted in Weaver's defeat by a 
vote of 18,817 to 21,874; but he received a larger 
vote than any of the other fusion candidates for 
Congress. In every county but one in the dis- 
trict he polled more votes than were cast for 
both the Democratic and Populist party tickets, 
using for comparative purposes the number of 
votes received by the candidates of those 
parties for Secretary of State. Weaver's hope 
for seven fusion Congressmen proved wide of 
the mark as the Republicans returned a solid 
delegation of eleven. The contest attracted 
national attention. The Review of Reviews 
referred to his defeat as a ^'notable incident". 
Mr. Samuel Gompers wrote, expressing grati- 
fication at his nomination because of his ^^stur- 
diness in advocating reforms in the interest of 
labor and the masses generally". Eugene V. 
Debs regretted his inability to help him in his 
campaign, and declared himself '4n hearty 
accord with the People 's Party and wish it and 
you, as the veteran champion of all labor's 
hosts, the greatest measure of success. "^^^ 

After the election General Weaver was inter- 
viewed and expressed himself freely concerning 


the political situation and the results of the 
contest. He remarked that he felt no regrets 
about his own defeat, as his vote was greater 
than the combined vote of the two organizations 
which supported him. Many Republicans also 
voted for him as was shown by the official count. 
He lost the election by only about tw^o thousand 
votes; whereas if the landslide had struck his 
district as hard as it did other parts of the 
State, he would have been defeated by ten thou- 
sand votes. *^He was simply caught under the 
outer rim of a tremendous landslide which was 
general throughout the country, but which was 
much heavier in other parts of the republic than 
it was in the Ninth district. It was not a per- 
sonal defeat and hence was easy to be borne.'' 
He described the general defeat of the Demo- 
crats as ^^ simply a tremendous cyclone of dis- 
content" — the result of ''idle labor, low prices, 
a tight money market and corporate arro- 
gance. '^ The Republicans had ''not triumphed 
because of any affirmative policy which they ex- 
pected to inaugurate, but because of a universal 
discontent for which they have not even a pre- 
tended remedy . . -i . This party in its 
leadership and machinery, in every state in the 
nation, is a unit against every reform now 
pressing for solution. It is emphatically the 
party of the corporations and the gold power. 
Its only purpose is to hold its position and in 


the late election it drew to its support the single 
gold standard advocates from all quarters and 
they will remain with it permanently. This is a 
wonderful fact of the widest possible signifi- 
cance when we come to forecast the future. 

^^ Everybody can see now that the failure of 
the democratic party is due to the fact that it 
is hopelessly divided upon all the great ques- 
tions of the day, while its enemy is a unit . . 
. . and all can now see clearly that there is 
neither call nor room for two corporation and 
gold standard parties in this country .... 
The advent of the corporate power and that of 
the money kings took place under republican 
rule and all their vast growth is due to repub- 
lican legislation, and the two can never be sepa- 
rated .... Under great leadership the 
democratic party should have comprehended 
these things and taken the field as the champion 
of the plain people. ' ' 

With his usual optimism General Weaver 
regarded the future of the Populist party as 
** hopeful and full of promise. We have 
emerged from the storm with our vote largely 
increased in every state .... It is now 
clear that the populist party has come to stay 
and henceforth must be reckoned as a formid- 
able factor in American politics. It is not to be 
judged by the ill-considered utterances of some 
of its over-zealous, radical and unbalanced men. 


The republican party, in its early days, flour- 
ished in spite of the extreme utterances of the 
ultra men of that time, and it still retains a 
measure of power in spite of a host of con- 
cededly bad men who occupy very high position 
in its councils. All reform movements attract 
to their ranks men of radical and extreme 

*^The new party will be judged by what it 
promises to do. The measures which it advo- 
cates are all eminently rational and conserva- 
tive. Its cardinal doctrines are : Free bimetal- 
ism at the ratio of 16 to 1 ; the overthrow of 
trusts, monopolies and excessive taxation; the 
issuance of all money by the government instead 
of through banking corporations ; the election of 
senators by the people ; the control of transpor- 
tation facilities by whatever lawful means shall 
prove necessary to that end; and a graduated 
income tax. The American people are in favor 
of all these reforms and will so express them- 
selves when given a fair opportunity to do so 
. . . . Before another congress is chosen, 
the people who favor the above reforms will 
unite, and they will choose a congress which 
represents their wishes and then, and not until 
then, will we get relief. 

"The great duty of the hour is a close union 
of all classes of men who substantially believe 
alike, and we can now all see clearly the neces- 


sity for such a union of forces. The times call 
aloud for it and now let all good men and wom- 
en work for it with zeal.'^^^^ 

The elections of 1894 represent the high- 
water mark in the electoral strength of the 
Populists. Compared with the results in 1892 
there was a gain of forty-two per cent — from 
1,027,329 to 1,471,590 votes. So great a success 
made more inevitable its absorption by one of 
the older parties — the usual result in the 
United States.^^^ 

The year 1895 was occupied with preparation 
for the presidential contest of 1896. Free 
coinage of silver was the one great issue. The 
control of the Democratic party machinery in 
Iowa by the Federal administration through 
Federal office-holders led the free silver Demo- 
crats to attempt by a preconvention union of 
forces to assert themselves more effectively 
than in the preceding year. Accordingly, in 
June silver conferences were held at Des 
Moines in which General Weaver took an active 
part. These conferences were intended to bring 
together all the advocates of the free coinage of 
silver regardless of their party affiliations. By 
such accessions of strength the free silver 
Democrats hoped to gain control of the State 
convention. The silver conferences were also a 
part of the national propaganda of the silver 
forces which had as its object the fusion of all 


the supporters of free coinage into a compact 
party. General Weaver was understood to be 
one of the leaders in the effort to secure such a 
union, and to have the cooperation of such men 
as General A. J. Warner of Ohio and Congress- 
man Bland of Missouri. The plan would bring 
together the Populist party, the free silver 
Democrats, and the silver organizations of the 
country — a result accomplished in 1896.^^'^ 

Apparently General Weaver was inclining 
more and more to emphasize the single issue of 
free coinage of silver, and to undertake to unite 
those favoring such a policy regardless of their 
party relations. It was fusion in a different 
form, and it aroused the opposition of the more 
extreme Populists who wished to build up a 
separate party organization. 

Rumors were also current of a secret plan of 
the Populist leaders to fuse with the Democrats 
to control the next General Assembly in the 
interest of General Weaver as a candidate for 
the United States Senate to succeed Senator 
Allison, whose term would expire in 1897. 
Senator Gear had also been seriously ill, and 
there was a possibility of the election of two 
Senators in the near future. Such an oppor- 
tunity would give an excellent chance for a well 
arranged fusion. In August the plan was said 
to have been under consideration for four 
months and had been carried into the silver 


conferences and into the Populist State Conven- 
tion. The middle-of-the-road Populists opposed 
it, as they did the proposal to make silver the 
only issue and mainly for the same reasons — 
because it would endanger the continued exist- 
ence of their party. General Weaver was at 
the State convention and assisted in straighten- 
ing out the party finances. 

Soon after he wrote the candidate for Gov- 
ernor assuring him of his support and stating 
that reports printed in Chicago papers to the 
contrary were *^ absolutely false. There is but 
one difference of opinion within our party in 
this state or elsewhere .... and that re- 
lates to the method of securing a union of the 
reform elements for 1896, and there is ample 
time in which to review our present attitude 
and for calm reflection between now and the 
convention of next year^'.^^^ 

Early in August the Democratic State Con- 
vention met at Marshalltown, the State com- 
mittee and the temporary organization being in 
control of the gold men. The first test of 
strength of the two factions came over the elec- 
tion of the permanent chairman, and the nom- 
inee of the State committee was chosen by a 
vote of six hundred and sixty to four hundred 
and seventeen. A free coinage amendment to 
platform was voted dow^n by practically the 
same vote. The gold Democrats proceeded to 


complete the business of the convention by the 
nomination of a gold man for Governor and a 
silver man for Lieutenant Governor. There 
was much dissatisfaction with the conduct of 
the convention because of the presence and 
prominence of Federal office-holders. This dis- 
satisfaction added to the growing strength of 
the silver faction in the State : it helped to give 
the control of the convention of 1896 to the free 
silver Democrats. The union of the silver 
forces behind Bryan in 1896 was brought one 
step nearer.^^^ 

As the campaign of 1896 approached Weaver 
became more and more earnest in his advocacy 
of a union of reform forces. He felt sure that 
neither the Eepublican nor the Democratic 
party could hope to poll a united vote for their 
tickets in 1896. Millions of free silver Repub- 
licans would bolt a gold standard ticket, while 
about one-half of the Democrats favored free 
silver at sixteen to one, the abolition of national 
banks, and the issue of legal tender paper cur- 
rency by the government. The other half were 
devoted to *'the gold standard and the British 
system of finance". These parties were hope- 
lessly divided and would eventually disappear, 
making possible the formation of new parties. 
*^Just how the union of the reform element is 
to be effected is a little difficult to forecast. I 
think, however, that the ticket will be the point 


of union. The populists will of course hold 
their national convention and the country may 
fairly hope for broad and liberal action on their 
part. . . . This will lead them to nominate 
men like Mr. Sibley of Pennsylvania and Judge 
Caldwell of the United States circuit court. 
The first is of democratic antecedents; the lat- 
ter a republican. These men are of the Lincoln 
and Jackson type. . . . Such a ticket would 
likely unite all reform elements. The great 
question of the hour is how to get together. We 
are past the platform period and are confronted 
with great tactical questions which always pre- 
cede great cpnflicts like that which awaits us in 

Again, at another time Weaver elaborated his 
reasons for urging a union of reform forces. 
In a private letter to a friend he declared that 
they must secure at least 5,500,000 votes in addi- 
tion to the Populist vote of 1892 ^4n order to 
stand any reasonable show of success. '' Such 
a result could only be accomplished by a policy 
of ^^ mutual concessions^'. He thought that 
**the money plank in all its fullness, and Sibley 
at the head of the ticket, afford a reasonable 
basis of union. ' ' He took a cheerful view of the 
political situation and was confident that ^'good 
sense and patriotism'' would ^'finally triumph 
in all the reform parties and elements that sin- 



cerely long for the speedy overthrow of the 
British Gold Power. "^^1 

The union of reform forces in 1896 was re- 
garded by General Weaver as ^ * an alliance, not 
fusion .... made up of Populists, Demo- 
crats and Republicans. It will first agree upon 
a platform, then declare its union perpetual 
until the objects in view are secured. If this is 
done, they will, of course, agree upon a ticket 
. . . . The formation of this alliance is not 
likely to be contingent upon the action of the 
Republican and Democratic parties .... 
the Republican slogan for 1896 is quite certain 
to be gold and national bank paper, sugar- 
coated with the hope and promise of possible 
international bimetallism. Most of the western 
and middle States Democratic leaders will en- 
deavor to commit the remnant of their party to 
the same policy. Failing, they will flock with 
meagre following to the Republicans. They 
nearly all carry cards of admission now .... 
The American bimetallic movement, recently 
inaugurated at Washington .... suggests 
the four-pronged money question as a basis for 
union, unrestricted gold and silver coinage at 
the present ratio, without waiting for the action 
of any other nation; legal-tender Government 
paper, no banks of issue and no bonds. This 
furnishes a platform wide enough for the great- 
est civic struggle we have ever known. 


* * If the kindred but now divided factions shall 
have the good judgment to accept and act upon 
the timely suggestion — stripping themselves 
for the time being of everything else, no matter 
how important — they will close the century 
with the grandest battle ever fought and crown 
it with the greatest victory ever won for com- 
mercial supremacy and industrial freedom. If 
they do not unite, the gold power will march its 
forces over the field and settle the whole ques- 
tion in its own way without firing a gun .... 
A Democratic or Republican uniform no longer 
has any meaning. There may be a silver man 
or a gold man, a bank man or an anti-bank man, 
or a bond man underneath it ... . This is 
very confusing, and a change is necessary. At 
present the reform line is good enough for 
scouting purposes, but too lengthy for battle 
. . . . We must now huddle and fight and 
see to it that the other fellows do the run- 

jj^j^g M302 

A letter published in the Farmers^ Tribune, 
Weaver's own paper and the State organ of the 
Populist party, was evidently a reply to Popu- 
list criticism of his insistence upon a union of 
reform forces in 1896, He began by the state- 
ment that he would not ** quarrel with any per- 
son within the party, use hard names or hurl 
epithets at others who may differ with me. Nor 
shall I reply to those who may assail me with 


such weapons. If we cannot treat each other 
with respect we certainly may not hope to draw 
to us those who are not within our ranks. We 
are not making platforms now, but there will 
have to be some expression of opinion if we are 
to have a consensus of judgment when we meet 
in convention. This requires time. By all 
sensible men expressions of opinion are given 
in the nature of advice and are intended simply 
to be persuasive instead of authoritative. What 
are all the letters you are publishing, and the 
thousands of editorials of the Reform Press, 
but expressions of opinion intended to act per- 
suasively upon the minds of those who read 
them? Has any member of the party lost his 
right to express an opinion! In my judgment 
the great work of our next national convention 
will be tactical, and relate to marshalling our 
forces rather than to the formulation of doc- 
trinal matters. We know now what we want. 
The question will be how best can it be secured? 
I have nothing to conceal in this matter. View- 
ing the public situation as it exists to-day, 
unless some material changes shall occur, while 
considering fully and unreservedly the great 
importance of our other, planks, I shall favor 
going before the people in 1896 with the money 
question alone, unincumbered with any other 
contentions whatsoever. Not on the silver issue 
alone, but distinctly favoring unrestricted coin- 


age at the ratio of 16 to 1, and legal tender 
government paper, with neither bonds nor banks 
of issue .... Meantime let us keep our 
guns trained upon the common enemy and let 
each other alone. Concerning our proper atti- 
tude toward other forces that may be forming 
to grapple with the money power, I commend 
the reading of Luke 9: 49, 50. "^^^ 

The great event of 1896 politically was the 
adoption of free coinage of silver as an issue by 
the Democrats and their nomination of Bryan 
as a candidate. To the country at large these 
events came as surprises; but as a matter of 
fact they had been in preparation for several 
years. The large vote of the Populists in 1892 
gave them encouragement, while it alarmed 
the older parties; but the more experienced 
leaders like Weaver realized that to add by 
gradual growth enough votes to obtain a ma- 
jority was a difficult task. 

Furthermore, the committal of the Demo- 
cratic party in 1893 to the fight against silver 
left the free silver Democrats of the West and 
South in an awkward position, for there was no 
place for two gold parties, and the most of their 
constituents were hostile to such a course. The 
Democrats by adopting free coinage, and nomi- 
nating a candidate favorable to it, might hope 
to concentrate all the elements opposed to gold. 
The wide-spread demand for silver in the West 


and South made such a course seem really likely 
to result successfully. The large vote for 
Bryan proved that the judgment of those who 
urged it was by no means entirely unwarranted 
and mistaken. 

General Weaver's part in this development 
was iniportant. As the standard bearer in 1892 
he was the recognized leader of his party and 
exercised a large influence. He had for some, 
time been urging a union of the reform forces. 
The endorsement of the Democratic nominees 
would accomplish his purpose. To such a con- 
clusion, therefore, he gave his support in the 
months preceding the conventions. Bryan's 
nomination was by no means entirely sponta- 
neous and due to his dramatic speech: it had 
been worked for and anticipated by some of the 
members of both conventions. Among these 
workers General Weaver occupied an influential 

The Populist State Convention met in Des 
Moines in April to nominate delegates to the 
national convention to be held in St. Louis. 
General Weaver was temporary chairman and 
made one of the principal addresses. He de- 
clared that he had come two thousand miles 
from Oregon, where he had been campaigning, 
to attend the State convention and to get it to 
unite with all the silver parties. They must get 
four and a half million votes by November to 


win, and if they did not win this year, the party 
would fail. Evidently there was considerable 
opposition, for when L. H. Weller moved to 
make the temporary organization permanent, 
some one objected, although General Weaver 
had just stated that he would not accept the 
chairmanship unless the action was unanimous. 
He was also a member of the committee on reso- 
lutions which by a vote of seven to three recom- 
mended that the delegates to the national 
convention *^do all in their power to secure a 
union of all reform forces on a common ticket 
or a platform embodying the fundamental prin- 
ciples of the Omaha platform and in addition 
recommend the adoption of the initiative and 
referendum." The minority report omitted all 
reference to the union of reform forces. A 
motion was made and carried by acclamation 
that General Weaver should be one of the dele- 
gates at large to the national convention.^^^ 

In the national convention Senator William 
V. Allen of Nebraska and General Weaver were 
the ^^foremost advocates'' of the nomination of 
Bryan by the Populists. Their opponents were 
largely Southern delegates who were hostile to 
the Democracy as the dominant party in their 
section. There were also some northern Popu- 
lists who feared that the endorsement of Bryan 
would mean the disappearance of their party 
as a distinct organization: the Iowa delegation 


was divided upon this point. General Weaver 
was chosen chairman of the delegates favoring 
Bryan, and of the ^^ steering committee" to 
canvass delegates upon their arrival and to do 
missionary work among them. The results of 
these efforts were shown in the election of Allen 
as permanent chairman by a vote of 758 to 564, 
and the appointment of Weaver as chairman of 
the committee on resolutions. 

The next conflict between the two groups 
came over the nomination of a candidate for the 
Vice Presidency. Arthur Sewall of Maine, 
Bryan's running mate upon the national ticket, 
was an eastern bank president, and had been 
known as a free silver man only about a year. 
He was a man of wealth and a director in rail- 
road and other corporations. His selection was 
a matter of political expediency, and was not 
favorably regarded by the rank and file of the 
Democrats. The Populists rejected him alto- 
gether, and nominated in his place Thomas E. 
Watson of Georgia. After this action Bryan's 
candidacy was endorsed by a vote of 1042 out 
of about 1300 delegates.^^^ The nomination of 
a separate candidate for the Vice Presidency 
showed the existence of a strong minority in 
the party opposed to Weaver's policy of alli- 
ance with the Democrats, and it was this 
minority that constituted the Populist party 
after 1896. The majority were absorbed into 


the Democratic party, Allen and Weaver acting 
with the Democrats after the campaign of that 

General Weaver made the chief nominating 
speech for Bryan, and in it he gave his reasons 
for such action and explained its relation to the 
movements in which he had been a leader for so 
many years. He described the year 1896 as 
*Hhe most critical period'' in the history of the 
Populist party. He had only ^^two aspirations 
in connection with that party. The first is in- 
corporated with my life work. It is to preserve 
untarnished and unsullied to the American 
people the great principles that we have con- 
tended for for the last twenty years. My second 
purpose is to preserve the organization for 
present and future usefulness in every part of 
this Union. . . . 

^^For twenty years we have been pleading 
with the people to espouse the sacred cause 
which is at stake in this campaign. We have 
constantly urged through good and evil report 
that our principles were more important than 
party associations, were above all considera- 
tions of private fortune or the petty and fever- 
ish ambitions of men. We have thus far suited 
our action to our words. Through five presi- 
dential campaigns, stretching from 1876 to 
1892, you correctly estimated the purposes of 
old party managers, and events have sustained 


every specification in your indictment against 
them .... To your devoted efforts is 
largely due the revival of economic learning in 
this country, which has enabled the Democratic 
party to assume its present admirable attitude. 
Your work now promises much to mankind, and 
is about to break forth in complete victory for 
the industrial masses. Though oft repulsed by 
the multitude, whom we would have liberated, 
though crucified in return for our kindness, yet 
through it all we have steadily confided in the 
righteousness of our cause and the final good 
sense of the people. We still believe that this 
nation has a mission to perform which bad men 
will not be permitted to destroy, and recent 
events indicate that the nineteenth century is 
not, after all, to close with the friends of free- 
dom despondent in the western hemisphere. 

**This country has recently witnessed a new 
Pentecost, and received another baptism of fire. 
The recent convention at Chicago sounded a 
bugle call for union which can neither be mis- 
understood nor go unheeded. In its patriotic 
utterances and action it swept away all middle 
ground, and opened the road to a formidable 
organic alliance. They not only made union 
possible — thank heaven, they have rendered it 

'^From the very beginning our organization 
has made party fealty subordinate to principle. 


We will not here reverse ourselves and refuse 
to accept victory now so easily within our 
reach. We will not refuse the proffered assist- 
ance of at least 3,000,000 free silver Democrats, 
and not less than 1,000,000 free silver Eepub- 
licans, simply because they have shown the 
good sense to come with an organized army 
fully equipped and manned for battle. Let them 
have their own divisions and army corps. The 
field of glory is open to all competitors who are 
fighting for the same principles. . . . 

^^If we would be victorious we must make 
common cause with the heroic men who dom- 
inated the Chicago convention. No other course 
is either prudent or desirable. We are not 
asked to abandon our party, nor would it be 
wise to do so. If it is to be preserved we will, 
in my judgment, be compelled to take the course 
which I am about to indicate. The silver Demo- 
crats have lined up as an organization. Now 
let the Populists, free silver Eepublicans, and 
the American silver party do likewise. . . . 

** After due consideration, in which I have 
fully canvassed every possible phase of the sub- 
ject, I have failed to find a single good reason 
to justify us in placing a third ticket in the 
field. The exigencies of the hour imperatively 
demand that there shall be but one. I would 
not endorse the distinguished gentleman named 
at Chicago. I would nominate him outright, 


and make him our own, and then share justly 
and rightfully in his election .... Take 
this course, and all opposition will practically 
disappear in the Southern and Western states, 
and we can then turn our attention to other 
parts of the field. Take any other, and you en- 
danger the entire situation and strengthen the 
arm of our common adversary. 

^^If you allow the present happy juncture to 
pass, all the heroic work of twenty years will be 
thrown to the winds. Our guiding hand will 
disappear in the momentous conflict just when 
it should be stretched forth to steady the ark of 
our covenant. We would prove to the world 
that we are devoid of capacity to grasp great 
opportunities, and lacking in strength to grap- 
ple with prodigious emergencies. The people 
have a gallant champion in the field, who is 
leading a revolt against the plutocracy of 
Christendom. Every oppressor, every pluto- 
crat, in two hemispheres has turned his guns 
upon him. The subsidized organs have openly 
proclaimed that he must be crushed by any 
means and at whatever cost. The confederated 
monopolies have laid aside their parties and 
their politics and are marching in hot haste 
against him. Let us signal to him to hold the 
fort — that we are coming — and then hasten 
to his relief. '^^^^ 

The active part taken by General Weaver in 


the nomination of Bryan by the Populists made 
him the recipient of many attentions by the 
Democrats. At the State convention of that 
party held at Ottumwa in August, he was named 
as elector-at-large with ex-Governor Boies upon 
the fusion ticket of Democrats and Populists. 
After the completion of the nominations he was 
called for and made a speech. He said that 
^Hhere was a political miracle being performed 
. . . . The Chicago convention was a polit- 
ical miracle and it still continued. ' ' He rubbed 
it into the Democrats just a little. He told 
them that the Populists had been ''fighting for 
years for the principles you incorporate in 
your Chicago platform, but there is no jealousy; 
God bless you, we welcome you. Take the lead, 
and if you can plant the flag one foot nearer the 
citadel of plutocracy than we did, do it, and we 
will help you." He said there was no distinc- 
tion or difference between Democrats, Popu- 
lists, and free-silver Republicans, and the 
convention cheered him. He prophesied the 
greatest victory since the foundation of the 
country, which would be a victory of the people, 
guided by a divine hand'\ Then he called for 
three cheers and after they were given the con- 
vention adjourned. He was described as the 
hero and dictator of the convention, and as 
dividing the honors with ex-Governor Boies. 
Mr. Bryan stopped over in Des Moines on his 


way to New York to open the campaign. Here 
he referred to General Weaver in most eulo- 
gistic terms, describing him in connection with 
Boies as ^Hhat other gallant man, who for 
twenty years has fought and, whether we have 
agreed with him or not on all the things, there 
is not an honest man here but must concede 
that where Weaver fought he fought with the 
strength of a giant. ''^^"^ 

During the same month of August in which 
he was honored by the State convention and the 
national standard bearer of the Democratic 
party, he was also tendered a place upon the 
national Democratic campaign committee. He 
also accompanied Mr. Bryan upon parts of his 
spectacular campaign of the country, which was 
really only an extension of his own campaigns 
of 1880 and 1892, made possible by better facili- 
ties for travel and more ample finances.^^^ 


The Later Years 


The result of the election of 1896, though dis- 
appointing to General Weaver and those who 
worked with him, was still near enough to vic- 
tory to give encouragement for another cam- 
paign along the same lines. A contest lost by 
only about half a million votes out of a total of 
over thirteen million was a very close approach 
to success when all the circumstances are taken 
into consideration. It is not surprising, there- 
fore, that a man of Weaver's optimistic temper- 
ament should anticipate a victory in 1900. 
Eepeatedly between 1896 and 1900, he indulged 
in such prophecies and he worked continually 
for such an outcome during the intervening 

His description of the political situation pre- 
ceding the Congressional campaign of 1898 ex- 
plained his position and gave reasons for it. 
He believed that the people were misled in 1896 
by the promises of the Republicans, and that 
they had begun to understand the real state of 
affairs *^ before the smoke of battle had fairly 



cleared away. ' ' In his opinion the victory was 
won by '* lavish promises, reinforced at the crit- 
ical juncture by the corrupt use of money, 
fraud, and intimidation.'' He declared that 
*Hhe overwhelming popular revolt" against 
Cleveland ^^was not against the person, but the 
policy of the administration. It was his gold 
bonds and bank schemes, his attempt to retire 
the greenbacks, the revenue deficits under the 
Wilson tariff law, and his pro-Spanish-Cuban 
policy." In all essential respects, McKinley's 
administration was *^an exact duplicate of 
Cleveland's minus the latter 's backbone." He 
pointed out that the *^same evil counsellors" 
were ^^all powerful", and if there was any dif- 
ference between the administrations, ^^the trust 
magnates" were ^^more potential" than they 
had been under Cleveland. 

Weaver was confident that ^Hhe triple alli- 
ance between the Bryan Democrats, Populists, 
and Silver Republicans" would soon result in 
^ ' complete triumph ' ', and he urged the strength- 
ening of this alliance in every part of the 
country with the object of gaining control of 
the House of Representatives in 1898. The 
contest in 1898 would mean **the initial mobili- 
zation" for 1900. He hoped every member of 
the alliance would support ''our great leader, 
Bryan .... He is at war with the classes 
and the common people love him. His heart is 


as true as that of Old Hickory, and Ms head as 
clear as that of the immortal Jefferson. ''^^^ 

In 1898 General Weaver was again a candi- 
date for Congress from the sixth district 
against Lacey who had defeated him in 1888. 
He was nominated on the first ballot by a vote 
of fifty to forty-seven in a convention made up 
of Democrats, Populists, and free silver Repub- 
licans. The Populists were satisfied with the 
nomination, but at least half the Democrats 
were said to be ^ ' sore ' \ The Populists believed 
that he could defeat Lacey, but the Democrats 
were less sanguine. It was generally conceded 
that he would make the strongest possible cam- 
paign against the Eepublican candidate. The 
contest ended with Weaver's defeat by a vote of 
18,267 to 19,738, a plurality of 1,471 for 
Lacey .^^^ 

The references made by General Weaver to 
the *^ pro-Spanish-Cuban policy'' of Cleveland, 
as one of the causes of the popular revolt 
against his administration, indicated his atti- 
tude upon the War with Spain in 1898. He was 
among the first to offer his services to the gov- 
ernment ; and there is a letter in his correspond- 
ence from Governor L. M. Shaw, acknowledging 
the tender of his services to the State and 
nation in the event of a war with Spain. 
Weaver's letter was written on March 17th. 
There is also a letter from the War Department 



acknowledging a similar tender made in a letter 
dated March 25th.^^^ These letters are note- 
worthy because of his later position upon 
imperialism. The freeing of the Cubans from 
Spanish rule appealed to his democracy, while 
the later extension of American government 
over the Philippines was contrary to his ideals. 

While the insurrection under Aguinaldo was 
in progress General Weaver discussed ^* Impe- 
rialism^' before a Des Moines audience. He 
undertook to maintain two propositions: (1) 
that the position of the national administration 
in regard to the Philippine Islands was con- 
trary to the law of nations; and (2) that its 
position was also contrary to the spirit and the 
letter of the Declaration of Independence. He 
closed his address by stating what he regarded 
as the duty of the United States towards the 
Filipinos. He would ^ invite Aguinaldo to meet 
under a palm tree somewhere'' to talk things 
over, and he would then *^tell him to go back 
and organize his congress and take charge of 
the administration of the affairs of his coun- 
try. ' ' Incidentally in the course of his remarks, 
he referred to President McKinley as ^^ worse 
than a Spaniard ".^^^ 

In December, 1899, he wrote to The Des 
Moines Leader in regard to an article which 
had appeared in that paper under the title of 
Militant Clergymen. He declared that it re- 


called to Ms mind the conversation between 
Christ and Pilate just before the crucifixion. 
* ^ It was an apostacized church and a prostituted 
imperial government that united to blot out the 
hope of mankind at the crucifixion. And it is 
the Caesars and Pilates of to-day, backed by a 
widely subservient pulpit, who are crucifying 
the devoted Boers in the Transvaal and the 
bleeding Christian Filipinos in the Orient. And 
for what reason? Simply because they dared to 
exercise, in their own country, the love of lib- 
erty and self-government which our common 
Father has implanted in the breast of every 
human being .... If there is a man in 
this world who deserves the scorn of mankind 
it is the so-called minister of the gospel or the 
so-called Christian who is in sympathy with the 
bloody and merciless slaughter now raging in 
the Philippines and the horrible English butch- 
ery now being committed in the Transvaal . . 
, . Our bishops and ministers who support the 
wars of conquest now flagrant in Africa and the 
Philippines have reached a point where the 
divine methods of conquering the world by jus- 
tice and love are too slow for them. Such 
methods keep out of view commercial advan- 
tages. For the present these gentlemen seem 
to prefer the policies of Caesar and Pilate. 
They could have given the Galilean valuable 

pointers if they had been present at his 
trial. "^13 


Again in May, 1902, he protested against 
some resolutions adopted at the G. A. R. en- 
campment ' ' endorsing the policy of the admin- 
istration in the Philippines and covertly com- 
mitting us to an indorsement of the atrocities 
which have been perpetrated upon the Filipino 
people. It is an attempt to commit the old 
soldiers of Iowa to an endorsement of these 
atrocities and the introduction of politics into 
the encampment w^hich is wholly unjustifiable. 
There are thousands of democrats belonging to 
the Grand Army of the Republic in Iowa who 
do not endorse the policy of the administration 
in the Philippines and thousands of Republican 
veterans who feel the same way. The resolu- 
tion was passed without discussion. I was not 
present or they would undoubtedly have heard 
from me."^^"* 

After 1896 Weaver described the relation of 
the Populists to the Bryan Democrats and free 
silver Republicans as a continuance of *'the 
triple alliance * ' of that year. In reality it meant 
practically the absorption by the Bryan Democ- 
racy of the other elements. The Populists, who 
opposed the nomination of Bryan and insisted 
upon the naming of Watson instead of Sewall 
in 1896, came to be known as Middle-of-the- 
Road Populists, and they were naturally op- 
posed to the continuance of the alliance. By 
1900 the two wings or factions had been devel- 


oped and organized as fusionists and anti- 
fusionists — the latter having its chief strength 
in the South. Weaver acted with the regular 
or fusionist faction in 1900. 

Associated with him in this wing of the party 
were Senator Allen of Nebraska, Senator 
Marion Butler of North Carolina, '^Cyclone'' 
Davis of Texas, and Thomas M. Patterson of 
Colorado. His intimate connection with party 
management is shown in his correspondence 
during 1900. A letter from J. H. Edmisten, 
chairman of the State committee of the People's 
Independent party of Nebraska, urged a meet- 
ing of the national committee at Lincoln in 
February, and asked Weaver's support for it 
as the best place ^Ho secure a large attendance, 
and also have the moral support of those sup- 
porting the union of forces at the point where 
a meeting could be held. In the event of the 
meeting being located at Lincoln, I shall call 
our state executive committee together and will 
send out invitations to 200 or 300 of our leading 
men to be present on that occasion, which I am 
sure they will do. This will give us a strong 
influence at the time of the meeting. Of course 
should the meeting be located at some other 
point, we would be unable to tell what influences 
we could surround it with. I think it would be 
well for you to write Mr. Butler urging him to 
lend such influence as he can for Lincoln as the 


place to hold the meeting, if you have not al- 
ready written him. ' ' The Lincoln meeting was 
held on February 19th and resulted in the com- 
plete separation of the factions. In spite of the 
predictions of the Nebraska chairman, the 
fusionists were in a minority at Lincoln — the 
fusionists had forty-two, while the anti-fusion- 
ists had fifty-seven delegates.^ ^^ 

S. B. Crane, chairman of the State committee 
of the People 's party of Iowa, wrote Weaver in 
March in regard to ^^a speaker of national 
reputation for an evening meeting after the 
convention ' \ and suggested Allen, Weaver ^ ^ or 
some one that could create some inthusiasm 
. . . . I would like to go to Sioux Falls with 
a strong delegation of inthusiastic men.*' In 
April Senator Butler wrote that the Associated 
Press had asked him to furnish them an outline 
of the remarks that he would make in calling 
the convention to order, and also to have the 
temporary and permanent chairmen do the same 
as soon as possible, as telegraphic communica- 
tion with Sioux Falls was limited to two wires, 
and they could give more space if they could 
have the matter in hand in advance than if they 
were forced to get the speeches from the con- 

' ^ Of course I cannot control who will be per- 
manent Chairman of the Convention,'* wrote 
Butler, ^^but permit me to say that there is a 


general consensus of opinion among those of 
us who are here that you [Weaver] ought to be 
permanent Chairman, therefore permit me to 
suggest that you at once prepare a synopsis of 
the speech that you will make as permanent 
Chairman, if you are elected. Or at least pre- 
pare what you are willing for them to publish as 
a report of your speech. ' ' 

A letter from George H. Shibley, dated May 
2nd, reminded Weaver that he was a member of 
a committee of ^ye on platform appointed at 
Lincoln in February, presumably to prepare a 
preliminary draft for the Sioux Falls conven- 
tion.^ ^^ In connection with this appointment, it 
is interesting to note that the Sioux Falls plat- 
form contained four planks vigorously con- 
demning the new imperialistic tendencies of the 
United States, and expressing sympathy for the 
Boers, while no references to these matters 
appeared in the platform of the other faction. 
We may safely infer that Weaver had a hand in 
the drafting of these resolutions. 

The two wings of the Populist party held 
national conventions at the same time in May 
— the regulars at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 
and the Middle-of-the-Roaders at Cincinnati, 
Ohio. Weaver, of course, went to Sioux Falls 
where the nomination of Bryan was a foregone 
conclusion ; but the question of naming a candi- 
date for Vice President gave rise to a serious 


contest, the friends of Bryan opposing such a 
nomination in advance of the meeting of the 
Democratic national convention. After a warm 
struggle Charles A. Towne of Minnesota 
was nominated; but later in August he with- 
drew, and the national committee substituted 
the nominee of the Democrats, Adlai E. Steven- 
son. It hardly needs to be added that General 
Weaver was opposed to the nomination of any 
candidate for Vice President, since a complete 
alliance could not be brought about without the 
acceptance of the same candidates by the allies. 
There was not the same reason as existed in 
1896 for such action, for the other wing of the 
party nominated a separate ticket made up of 
Wharton Barker of Pennsylvania and Ignatius 
Donnelly of Minnesota.^ ^"^ 

The Weaver correspondence after the con- 
vention at Sioux Falls again reflected his posi- 
tion and relation to party affairs. On May 16, 
1900, George S. Canfield of St. Paul wrote him 
that he was *Wery sorry that matters went 
against your judgment at Sioux Falls, and feel 
certain that you appreciated our position as to 
Minnesota. It was apparent from the start that 
some nomination must be made. Knowing that 
you reflected the sentiments of our leaders, we 
appreciated your position, and the fact that 
your great personal strength with all members 
of your party was unable to stem the tide, is all 


the more proof that nothing could have brought 
about any different action. 

^^ Myself and others outside of the delegation 
bore from Mr. Towne his most urgent advice 
that a conference was a better plan. When a 
nomination was unavoidable, of course, the 
nomination of an outside man was the best pos- 
sible thing to do. You will be glad to be re- 
assured, as we are, from Mr. Towne since the 
convention, of the receptive attitude which he 
maintains and his lofty purpose to take such 
final action as may be deemed best in the final 
consideration. ' '^^^ 

A few days later a letter to Weaver from 
T. M. Patterson of Colorado, permanent chair- 
man of the Sioux Falls convention, declared 
that their views as to the nomination of Towne 
were the same, and yet he would like very much 
^'to see them proved wrong. Towne would 
make a strong second to Mr. Bryan in all of the 
middle, mountain and far western states, and I 
think, from what Mr. Bryan said, whom I saw 
on my way back from Sioux Falls, he would be 
more than pleased to have Mr. Towne on the 
ticket with him. I have no means of judging 
what the democratic sentiment generally will 
be about Towne, except as it is developed here 
in Denver. Most of the Democrats are Mr. 
Towne 's warm admirers, but they almost uni- 
formly say that they believe it will be unwise to 


nominate him at Kansas City under the circum- 
stances. They do not believe that a great party 
should be in the position before the entire peo- 
ple of the country — of accepting their full 
presidential ticket ready made at the hands of 
another political organization. And then you 
know Populism is very unpopular in the South 
and the East. The single fact that he comes to 
delegates from those sections of the country as 
a Populist nominee I fear is enough to destroy 
his chances. Towne's nomination was the out- 
come, in my opinion, of a combination between 
Mr. Bryan's friends and enemies; a large num- 
ber of those who supported him are sincerely 
Mr. Bryan's friends, but I think there were 
some marplots there with their pockets full of 
proxies — who would really rejoice to see Mr. 
McKinley re-elected. "^^^ 

E. H. Gillette, who had been elected to Con- 
gress with Weaver in 1878, representing the 
Des Moines district, and who had been associ- 
ated with him politically ever since, asked his 
advice in June in regard to the need for his 
attendance at Kansas City to urge the nomina- 
tion of Mr. Towne by the Democrats. Gillette 
wrote that he had not intended to go and had 
^'felt highly elated for two months to think'* 
that he would not have to test his ^'physical 
endurance" and ''hold on life by thrusting" 
himself ''into that seething July cauldron. 


That is a place where you'd grow young, but 
where I'd grow old. However if it should hap- 
pen that there was any Dem. there whom I 
could persuade to do the right thing, which I 
very much doubt, I might be tempted as a mat- 
ter of duty .... to make a sardine of 
myself for a week. ' '^^^ 

The Kansas City convention nominated 
Bryan unanimously upon the first ballot, and 
completed the ticket with only a slight contest 
by the selection of Adlai E. Stevenson of Illi- 
nois as its candidate for Vice President. Towne 
received only eighty-nine and one-half votes 
compared with five hundred and fifty-nine and 
one-half for Stevenson and two hundred for 
David B. Hill of New York.^^i 

The friction between Democrats and Popu- 
lists and between the two Populist factions 
made the alliance less complete in 1900 than it 
had been four years earlier. The entrance of 
the issues arising from the Spanish War con- 
fused the situation, while the return of business 
prosperity reduced the urgency of the monetary 
questions. The result was an increased vote 
for the Kepublicans and a falling off of the 
Democratic vote. The hopes for the success 
of ^'the triple alliance" in a second campaign 
were doomed to disappointment. Changed con- 
ditions were chiefly responsible for the failure, 
and a new program w^as necessary. 


General Weaver's position after the election 
of 1900 was stated in a letter to the Omaha 
World-Herald, answering an address recently 
issued regarding the future of the Democratic 
party. He believed that ^^ under the leadership 
of Mr. Bryan and in the hands of its absolutely 
loyal committee, the democratic party is a re- 
form party — a new and mighty reform force 
— and its leadership cannot revert to objec- 
tionable hands unless the 7,000,000 reform 
voters commit the stupendous blunder of dis- 
banding in face of the enemy for the vain pur- 
pose of attempting a re-organization. 

^^The way to insure a complete union of the 
reform forces is for the elements which rallied 
to the support of Mr. Bryan to stay together. 
The work of the unification is already accom- 
plished, and our leader is the best known and 
best beloved man on earth to-day. A new 
organization could not muster one-half of the 
mighty host who gave us their support in 1900, 
and plutocracy would hail the advent of a new 
party with peans of joy. It would insure their 
supremacy for a quarter of a century. If the 
various reform elements that supported our 
leader in the memorable conflict of the present 
year desire to exert salutary influence in polit- 
ical circles in the future let them resolutely 
stand by their guns and await events. "^^^ 

Evidently General Weaver was satisfied to 


remain a member of this ^^ union of reform 
forces", as he regarded it, and apparently he 
continued to act with the Democrats during the 
rest of his life. Probably the close friendship 
with Mr. Bryan had a great deal to do with his 
permanent association with the Democratic 
party. During all these years Bryan was the 
unquestioned leader of the Democracy, and 
Weaver's opinions and sympathies coincided 
with his own. He recognized, too, the pioneer 
services of Weaver in preparing the way for 
his own leadership from 1896 to 1912. Bryan 
and La Follette and Roosevelt were all long 
preceded by Weaver. Bryan fully and freely 
acknowledged his indebtedness to the '* Grand 
Old Commoner of lowa".^^^ 

In July, 1904, General Weaver was one of 
the delegates at large from Iowa to the Demo- 
cratic national convention at St. Louis. The 
delegation were instructed by the convention to 
vote for William R. Hearst of New York and 
were bound by the unit rule to support him. 
The State convention also voted down the re- 
affirmation of the Kansas City platform of 
1900. The domination of the Hearst supporters 
was very distasteful to the older leaders who 
opposed the instruction of the delegates. Gen- 
eral Weaver advocated the instructions; and 
one of the district delegates, W. W. Baldwin of 
Burlington, a sound money Democrat, wrote 


him immediately afterwards, expressing his 
** unqualified admiration'^ of his ability as a 
political debater. ^*I thought that your speech 
for instructions at Des Moines was a model of 
adroit and skillful appeal." In the convention 
the votes for the four delegates-at-large who 
were elected were as follows: J. M. Parsons 
611; E. M. Carr 596; S. B. Wadsworth 562; and 
Weaver 521.^24 

Although Hearst failed to receive the Demo- 
cratic nomination at St. Louis — his chances of 
success were never good — General Weaver 
seems to have turned to the support of Parker 
with remarkable willingness. Probably with 
Bryan he was ready to give the conservative 
Democrats a chance to show their weakness 
wdth the hope that in 1908 the party would turn 
again to progressive leadership. At any rate 
he took an active part in the campaign. 

His opinion of the situation was given in an 
interview one week after the St. Louis conven- 
tion. He described the Chicago convention of 
1896 as ^^the vernal equinox'', and that of 1904 
as *Hhe autumnal of the great struggle for 
democratic reform"; but he believed that 
*^ balmy spring" would come again. ** Bryan, 
the loftiest democratic leader that ever lived, 
still survives, towering like the Alps, and is 
to-day the greatest positive individual force of 
the New Century. 


^'Everybody was accorded a fair hearing at 
St. Louis. Not only the opportunity to be heard 
was granted, but each side was actually and 
completely heard and hence there is not left the 
shadow of an excuse to bolt. We did not get all 
we wanted either as to candidate or platform 
. . . . But we secured much that is good, 
and our platform of promises, when compared 
with the republican platform of silence on the 
one hand and vicious performance on the other, 
amounting together to a denial of hope, is suf- 
ficient to give us a united democracy in every 
state of the Union. 

^^The platform is anti-imperial, anti-trust, is 
opposed to militarism, calls for tariff reform, 
election of United States Senators by the peo- 
ple, strikes at military despotism in Colorado, 
calls for trial by jury and a return to the safe- 
guards of the constitution. Judge Parker's 
plutocratic entourage is not pleasing to me. 
But it is, to say the least, equally as good as the 
surroundings of President Roosevelt. We can 
accomplish nothing by flying apart into frag- 
ments at this juncture of affairs; neither can 
we best serve our country and age by fleeing to 
the camp and standard of the adversary. Good 
judgment and patriotism alike call for the 
united support of Parker and Davis. The 
promise of reform and the great body of re- 
formers who are tactful in their methods will 


be found under this banner in spite of the 

plutocratic influences which forced the nomi- 
nation/ '^^s 

General Weaver also seriously considered 
running for Congress from the sixth district 
again in 1904. His correspondence contains a 
number of letters, either urging him to be a can- 
didate, or expressing pleasure at the prospect 
and promising support if he were nominated. 
Nothing came of this proposal and he occupied 
himself with the campaign for Parker. Late in 
the campaign he gave as a reason for his failure 
to run the short time allowed for the contest. 
He liked to open a campaign January 1st and 
keep it up to December 31st. Some of his 
friends believed that many Republicans would 
vote for him as they had done in the past, others 
advised him to '*have nothing to do with the 
deal at all'^ because many Democrats were 
<<very sore'', and some made ^^no bones of say- 
ing right out that they will vote for Roosevelt 
straight so that the vote will be over-whelming 
for him as against the re-organizers and the 
Wall-street gang.''^^^ 

When the Democrats nominated Bryan for a 
third time in 1908 there could be no question 
as to Weaver's position. His friendship for 
Bryan and his belief in the coming success of 
the reform forces made him optimistic again. 
As in 1896 and 1900 he looked forward to the 


long-deferred victory for which he had been 
laboring in season and out since 1877. There 
seemed to be good grounds for such hopes, for 
the Democratic party was more completely 
united behind Mr. Bryan than it had been in the 
two previous campaigns when he was the stand- 
ard bearer. Weaver was active in the cam- 
paign, being especially associated with John W. 
Kern, the candidate for Vice President. After- 
wards Kern wrote to him expressing his appre- 
ciation of his ^^ splendid efforts during the 
campaign. I look back upon that part of it, in 
which I traveled and communed with you, as by 
far the most pleasant of it all. I don't want to 
be a flatterer, but I feel that I would like you 
to know that I admire you immensely and want 
you to register me on the list of your best 
friends. If I gave you my reasons for liking 
you so well, you would blush. "^^"^ 

General Weaver was also talked of as a can- 
didate at the primaries for the Democratic 
nomination for Governor. Apparently the 
perennial talk about his nomination for Con- 
gress occurred, since his old colleague, E. H. 
Gillette, wrote him in June and asked him, if 
he did not know that ^Hhe man who silenced 
the Speaker (Sam Eandall) and sent him to the 
cloak room for a drink; the man who opened 
Oklahoma; the man who exposed the National 
Bankers to the contempt of mankind, and made 



the fakirs and Trusts tremble is a marked man, 
and when he shows his head it gets hit! Did 
you imagine they'd ever let you into a legisla- 
tive assembly again? Did you imagine they had 
forgotten! Not much! Don't be a target for 
'em but hit 'em again. "^^^ General Weaver's 
age made it rather unlikely that he would ever 
be a candidate again. 

But his interest in politics remained keen to 
the very end. In the summer of 1911, while on 
a visit to one of his daughters in Seattle, 
Washington, he expressed the opinion that the 
progressive movement was becoming ^'formid- 
able". He pointed out that the progressives 
had cut loose from corporate and trust control. 
They were making war upon the *' interests", 
and in effect were ^'forming a new party by 
trying to transform the old one, [and] they will 
succeed. The old regime had better stand from 
under." Kef erring to the popular election of 
Senators, which he had urged during his three 
terms in Congress, he said the progressives 
were doing **the next best thing" by nomi- 
nating them in the primaries. ^-^ Evidently he 
saw that they were doing for the Republicans 
what Bryan had done for the Democrats. He 
recognized that both movements were working 
along the same lines along which he had cam- 
paigned for so many years. 

On his way home a month later he discussed 


the political situation in an interview at Salt 
Lake. He believed that if La Follette was nomi- 
nated for President he would sweep the coun- 
try, and that if President Taft should be 
renominated he would certainly be defeated. 
He described ^*the Democratic presidential out- 
look" as *^ somewhat chaotic. The Harmon 
people are keeping their forces well in hand. 
Woodrow Wilson has ingratiated himself with 
the Democrats of the country. Champ Clark, 
however, would seem to be the popular choice. ' ' 
He planned to take the stump for the Demo- 
cratic presidential nominee in 1912.^^^ 

During the last months of his life he was 
much interested in the campaign of the candi- 
dates for the Democratic nomination for Presi- 
dent in 1912. Early in November, 1911, Judge 
A. Van Wagenen of Sioux City wrote him that, 
after diligent study for four or five months, he 
had reached the conclusion that Woodrow 
Wilson was ^'the most fundamentally rooted of 
any progressive in the country. ' ' He expressed 
a desire to know how Weaver's thoughts were 
running ^^on the important question of who 
will make the right kind as well as the strongest 
leader. ' ' A few days later Judge Van Wagenen 
replied to a letter from Weaver, which he had 
^^read and studied carefully. I like Champ 
Clark splendidly but I am just like you I am 
afraid of his poise. They tell me in this respect 


lie has been better for some time but poise is a 
thing that comes with a life long habit .... 
Still we must give Clark credit for having done 
a wonderful lot of good. I haven't said to any 
one or to myself just what I am going to do, but 
I am like you the more I think the more strongly 
I am about settling upon Wilson. ''^^^ 

Late in December, 1911, and in January, 1912, 
letters to Weaver indicate a leaning towards 
Champ Clark. W. D. Jamieson, a former Dem- 
ocratic congressman from Iowa, wrote him that 
^4t did my heart good to find that you are so 
emphatically with us in the effort to get an 
Iowa delegation for Mr. Clark, and with the 
kind of a fighting spirit that you have for the 
things that you believe to be right, I am sure 
you will be glad to write a few letters." He 
mentioned a number of persons to whom he 
would like to have Weaver write. About three 
weeks later he wrote again and urged him to 
make a statement of his views for publication. 
''As the man who had more than a million votes 
as a presidential candidate, and one of those to 
whom Wilson undoubtedly referred as the 
'alien' element which was to be eliminated from 
the democratic party, I think it would be well 
for you to try the case out very exhaustively, 
setting forth clearly and at length your reasons 
and arguments for your present position. You 
are recognized everywhere as being one of the 


very earnest and substantial leaders of the rad- 
ical fight of the country, and as being one of the 
very earnest and honest and reliable demo- 
crats. "^^^ 

His last expression of opinion upon public 
affairs was an endorsement of Champ Clark as 
a candidate for the Democratic nomination for 
President, written upon a scrap of heavy ma- 
nilla wrapping paper. The letter was written 
to W. D. Jamieson on January 26th. He had 
taken time to think over the political situation 
in Iowa and had reached the conclusion that the 
State ought to support Champ Clark. * ' This is 
emphatically Clark territory. His versatility 
and wide experience as a legislator, his long 
acquaintance with the public men of the country 
and his thorough understanding of the motives 
of those who represent the almost omnipotent 
interests' — motives which are never willingly 
disclosed or admitted — preeminently qualify 
him for the high position. Mr. Clark should 
have every vote of our delegation without divi- 
sion. I say that not with any resentment to- 
ward other candidates. They are all eminent 
men and small things should not be introduced 
and considered. The path of duty is plain. 
Let us follow it. With charity for all I am reso- 
lutely and unalterably for Mr. Clark, and trust 
sincerely that Iowa will so align herself at 
Baltimore. "^^^ 


General Weaver's death occurred in Febru- 
ary, 1912, before the contest between Wilson 
and Clark had assumed definite form. Without 
doubt he would have followed Bryan in his sup- 
port of Wilson when events developed as they 
did in the Baltimore convention. One can not 
but regret that he could not have lived another 
year to witness the election and inauguration 
of a Democratic President, who would have 
seemed to him to represent the triumph of that 
union of reform forces for which he had toiled 
and waited for more than thirty years. 



In March, 1901, General Weaver was elected 
mayor of Colfax, the town in which his later 
years were spent. Under the circumstances his 
choice for the position was an indication of the 
regard in which he was held by his friends and 
neighbors. Political lines were not drawn to 
any great extent, and he received the support 
largely of those desiring a cleaner administra- 
tion of local affairs. This election as mayor 
was the first of a series of events during the 
last years of his life which showed very plainly 
that he had won the recognition and esteem of 
the people of the State. There was nothing 
partisan in this tardy appreciation of his ser- 
vices. A letter from his son-in-law, H. C. 
Evans, in February, 1903, informed him that he 
would be renominated for mayor, unless he 
' immediately '^ wrote '^some one at home'' to 
stop it. General Weaver was still actively 
interested in State politics, and the same letter 
refers to his *^boom for governor'' as **big".^^^ 
The golden wedding anniversary of General 
and Mrs. Weaver was celebrated in July, 1908. 



No formal invitations were issued and only a 
simple notice inserted in the press a few days 
before the ' event. The guests were received 
upon the lawn of the unpretentious home at 
Colfax, and the afternoon and evening wit- 
nessed a continuous procession of persons who 
called to pay their respects. General and Mrs. 
Weaver were assisted by all of their children, 
except Mrs. Laura Ketchum of Seattle, Wash- 
ington, who found it impossible to be present. 
The six children present were Mrs. Maude Rob- 
inson of Colfax, Mrs. Susan Evans, Mrs. Ruth 
Denny, and Mr. James B. Weaver, Jr., of Des 
Moines, Mrs. Esther Cohrt of Traer, and Mr. 
Abram C. Weaver of Aberdeen, South Dakota. 
A delegation from Des Moines, where General 
Weaver had lived from 1890 to the time of his 
removal to Colfax, presented a beautiful library 
chair as a gift from the Polk County Democ- 

During the evening the people of Colfax 
turned out in large numbers. An informal pro- 
gram also was given during the course of the 
evening. A present of $50 in gold — one gold 
dollar for each year of wedded life — came 
from the citizens of Colfax. General Weaver 
responded *^in a speech replete with humor, 
pathos and the expression of the thanks of him- 
self and wife for the many kind words and 
<ieeds of the day. 


In the course of his remarks he paid a fine 
tribute to Mrs. Weaver, who throughout their 
married life had been in perfect sympathy with 
his understanding of the issues involved in his 
public career. She had been a leader in the 
temperance and suffrage movements in the 
State, and an active associate and helper in all 
of his reform work. General Weaver related 
the story of how when he asked Mrs. Weaver if 
she had heard the news of Lincoln's call for 
troops in 1861, she answered, ^'Yes, James, and 
I want you to go ' '. They were financially very 
poor at that time. Their first child had been 
born in 1859, and another was expected in 
August, 1861. 

Mr. W. S. Moore of General Weaver's old 
regiment, the Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 
was called out and responded in a witty and 
effective speech. There were many presents 
from friends and relatives. . . . Singing 
closed the evening that will be a delightful 
recollection to all concerned. ""^^ 

The custom of hanging the portraits of the 
famous men of the past upon the walls of public 
buildings is an old and widely accepted one. 
When the Iowa Capitol was completed in 1882 
Charles Aldrich began to urge the collection of 
the portraits of noted Iowa men to be hung 
upon the walls of the offices and corridors. The 
portraits of a score of governors, judges, and 


other officials had been hung on the walls in the 
Capitol before the gallery of the Memorial His- 
torical and Art Building was opened. The popu- 
larity and value of the plan, originated by Mr. 
Aldrich for the Capitol, led him to emphasize 
this feature after the erection of the Memorial 
Historical and Art Building. He felt very 
strongly that oil paintings of the prominent 
men of Iowa ought to be preserved, and he made 
the securing of such portraits one of the chief 
objects of the Historical Department of which 
he was Curator. Without funds for this specific 
purpose, the only method of acquisition was by 
gift. Many of the pioneers and distinguished 
men to whom Mr. Aldrich issued his invitations 
could not afford or were too modest to present 
their portraits. Among those who received 
such an invitation from Mr. Aldrich was Gen- 
eral James B. Weaver; but neither response 
nor refusal came while Mr. Aldrich lived. 

Soon after Mr. Aldrich 's death in March, 
1908, Mrs. Charles Dupree Smith noticed the 
absence of a portrait of General Weaver in the 
gallery of the Historical Memorial and Art 
Building. She at once conceived a plan for pro- 
viding and presenting such a portrait, and 
immediately communicated her ideas to General 
G. M. Dodge, Hon. Fred E. White, General 
James S. Clarkson and a number of other emi- 
nent men, all of whom cordially approved the 


otlier officials j..r 

walls in the 

Capitol before ti. 

morial His- 

torical and Art P 

\vasopeiKMl. Thepopu- 

larity and va ije 

plan^ originated by Mr. 

Aldric^^ f ... 

' ^ •'] him to emphasize 

this f 

m of the Memorial 

id Art 

fig. He felt very 

oil pr 

'' the" prominent 

ught t^ 

' '1 he made 

)f sucL 

he chief 

the Historical Department of which 

Curator. Without fiv > specific 

.. t1... ,.,,K- ,v,..l1., 

-- - wa;s by 



^vit^t to present 

w.,0 who received 

\ Aldrich was Gen- 

bnt neither response 

' lived. 

in March, 

noticed the 

absence of a port 

Weaver in the 

gallery of the Hit 

uorial and Art 

Building. She at oncv. 

., ^ rt plan for pro- 

viding and presenting sn. ortrait, and 

immediately communicated her ideas to General 
G. M. Dodge, Hon. Fred E. White, General 
James S. Clarkson and a number of other emi- 
nent men, all of whom cordially ai>proved the 



plan. Thereupon Mrs. Smith began a campaign 
to collect the necessary funds. The friends and 
admirers of General Weaver, in and out of 
Iowa, responded readily and generously. Mr. 
Charles A. Gumming of Des Moines was com- 
missioned to paint the portrait, which was 
ready for presentation in February, 1909. 

A committee of subscribers was appointed, 
consisting of Hon. Jerry Sullivan, Hon. Carroll 
Wright, Hon. H. W. Byers, Eev. J. F. Nugent, 
Mrs. Charles Dupree Smith, with Mr. Edgar R. 
Harlan as chairman, to arrange a program be- 
fitting the occasion. The board of trustees of 
the Historical Department asked that the exer- 
cises be given under their auspices, and the 
House of Representatives by resolution offered 
the use of their hall for the purpose. The 
Speaker of the House appointed a committee of 
three to act with the general committee. The 
afternoon of February 15, 1909, was selected as 
the time for the public unveiling and presen- 
tation. On the evening of the same day a 
memorial banquet in honor of General Weaver 
was given at the Savery House, Des Moines, 
under the auspices of the Democratic members 
of the legislature. Both occasions were in- 
tended to be of a non-partisan character, and 
were participated in by men of all parties. 
Together they constituted a unique testimonial 
to the career and a sincere recognition of the 


worth of a man who had only occasionally held 
office and whose public activity had usually 
been with the minority. 

The afternoon program, over which Governor 
B. F. Carroll presided as chairman of the board 
of trustees of the Historical Department, con- 
sisted of an address by Rev. J. F. Nugent pre- 
senting the portrait on behalf of the friends of 
General Weaver. Immediately following came 
the unveiling of the picture by two of his grand- 
daughters. After this ceremony Major John F. 
Lacey, a long time friend and political opponent 
in the sixth district, paid special tribute to the 
military record and character of his former 
antagonist. Mr. William Jennings Bryan was 
then introduced, and his address was ^^a sermon 
on goodness and nobility of character, and an 
application of these traits to the life of the 
speaker ^s friend." In a few well chosen re- 
marks Judge H. E. Deemer accepted the por- 
trait on behalf of the trustees of the Historical 
Department. An audience of twelve hundred 
persons was present at these impressive exer- 

Just before the close of the proceedings, 
Mrs. Smith presented to General Weaver a 
*^ beautiful, hand-tooled, Morocco bound vol- 
ume '* containing the many letters which had 
been received in the course of the preparation 
of the portrait. General Weaver rose and with 


deep emotion received the book with a few- 
words of thanks. He declared that the one fea- 
ture that he appreciated more highly than any- 
thing else was the fact that it was ^^ strictly 
non-partisan'' and came from ''loving friends 
of all political faiths". After the conclusion of 
the exercises in the hall of the House of Repre- 
sentatives General Weaver held a reception in 
the rooms of the Speaker.^^^ 

The memorial banquet in the evening was 
attended by about four hundred persons. State 
Senator and Congressman-elect W. D. Jamieson 
was the toastmaster, and Hon. Jerry Sullivan, 
Governor B. F. Carroll, Ex-Governor Warren 
Garst, Colonel Lafayette Young, Attorney Gen- 
eral H. W. Byers, Senator J. A. De Armand, 
Representative W. L. Harding, Judge M. J. 
Wade, and Hon. G. F. Rinehart responded to 
toasts. Following this list of speakers. General 
Weaver and Mr. Bryan closed the program with 
addresses upon Brotherhood and Retrospect 
and Prospect, America being sung between the 
two speeches. The banquet was a fitting climax 
to a really wonderful occasion which will go 
down in Iowa history as ''Weaver Day''. 

"General Weaver's speech was full of the 
feeling of gratitude that had been evident 
throughout the day. As he expressed his 
thanks to his friends for the tributes of the day, 
his voice trembled with the emotion he could not 


conceal, and as he pledged his life long grati- 
tude and that of his children, the heart of every 
hearer was touched by his earnestness and the 
realization of what this homage means to him 
after a life long struggle in which, as he said, 
he was not merely usually in the minority but 
in the * minor minority'. '^ 

The honors of the day were shared with Mr. 
Bryan. **When he was introduced . . . . 
at the banquet the applause was as long as that 
which had greeted General Weaver. Mr. Bryan 
first gave his attention to Col. Lafe Young, who 
had preceded him on the programme and had 
turned some pointed stories his way. He re- 
ferred to Mr. Young's declaration that he had 
been a greenbacker at twelve years of age, but 
had changed soon afterward to a republican. 
* We are told in the Bible', said Mr. Bryan, ^that 
truth is revealed to babes. ' Shouts of laughter 
greeted the sally, and Mr. Young joined in the 
storm of applause." Though it was after mid- 
night when Mr. Bryan concluded his address 
very few had left the hall at that time, the 
interest having been remarkably well sustained 
throughout the long evening. ^^^ 

At the reunion of the Pioneer Lawmakers' 
Association held in Des Moines a few weeks 
after the unveiling of General Weaver's por- 
trait, Mr. Isaac Brandt, the Secretary of the 
Association, declared that he had attended ^^all 


the presentations of these notable pictures . . 
. . and I want to say that I believe there 
never was such a day in the State of Iowa as 
was the day that Gen. Weaver ^s picture . . . . 
was presented to the State of Iowa .... 
Those grand tributes that were paid to him by 
Father Nugent — it was magnificent. His man- 
uscript was grand, but when he laid down his 
manuscript and spoke from his heart .... 
the audience arose almost en masse and cheered 
it. And then, the tribute that Mr. Bryan paid 
to him was grand, and I must say that of all the 
functions I ever attended there was none that 
pleased me so fully and completely as the trib- 
ute that was given to Gen. J. B. Weaver. "^"^^^ 

The bound volume of correspondence pre- 
sented to General Weaver by Mrs. Smith con- 
tains a wealth of eulogy and praise of his 
character and career. One of the most sugges- 
tive contributions was an original poem with 
the title of The Shirmisher , sent by the author, 
Herbert Quick, then of Sioux City. It was dedi- 
cated to General Weaver and aptly described 
his role in politics. 

The battle thunders all along the line; 

The mustered myriads drink its draught like wine ! 

We charge in lusty squadrons unafraid 

Cheered by the bellow of our cannonade 

Still stands th' embattled host of Vested Wrong, 

Unshaken, unabashed, unconquered, strong; 


But Right has now her fields of clustered spears, 

And shakes the air with trampling and with cheers ! 

The fight seems dubious ; yet one thing we know : 

The fight shall not be lost without a blow ! 

The soldier dies; but as his senses swim 

He sees the line sweep on, with eyes grown dim. 

The wounded lie and bleed — their faces shine 

As billowing cheers come swelling down the line ! 

All now is glory, conquest, conflict, thrill; 

The great war dims the sky and shakes the hill ; 

The very mass of battle bears us high 

In generous resolve to do or die — 

And we forget in the tense urge to win 

The skirmishers that drove their pickets in ! 

They fought in the gray dawn, cold and alone, 

A hardy few, darting from tree to stone. 

No fife and drum, no touch of elbow cheered — 

They saw no following host with flags upreared; 

And that which wrung their valiant spirits most 

Was the dread doubt, ' ' There is no following host ! ' ' 

Yet through the fearsome jungle forth they went, 

Felt for the foe, and drove him to his tent ; 

And in the splendid faith that one good blow 

Is each man's legal debt to every foe. 

They struck. The sparse fire crackled through the 

Grew, greatened, roared — and the great war was 

So let us honor, 'mid the battle's din 
The skirmishers that drove their pickets in ! 

Harvey Ingham, editor of The Register and 


header, wrote that Mr. Quick ''fitly designates 
the General 'The Skirmisher'. It is a happy 
suggestion. He has been on the skirmish line 
of every reform for a lifetime, and he has 
driven in many of the pickets of entrenched 
wrong. ' ' 

Another very noteworthy expression of re- 
gard and esteem came from General James S. 
Clarkson, Weaver's old journalistic opponent 
of the days of his prime when battles royal 
were waged by the two men — one the cham- 
pion of the party in power, the other the ap- 
parent leader of a forlorn hope. Clarkson was 
in complete sympathy with the plan "to pay 
fitting honor to one of the worthiest and most 
distinguished of Iowa men. There is very much 
in the brilliant career of General Weaver to 
stir the pride of every Iowa citizen, as well as 
to win popular admiration and affection. After 
the differences of the time shall have passed 
away and a full perspective of his life and work 
shall have been gained, he will be ranked and 
go into history among the dozen stronger Iowa 
men in several fields : in that of the law, his own 
profession; in the lists of oratory, w^here he has 
been among the foremost in public life in times 
of peace, where he has always made a superior 
record; most of all, in the war to preserve the 
Union, where his great record is a peculiar 
source of Iowa pride ; and in later years in the 



highest fields in politics, where he has borne a 
very prominent national part, as well as a lead- 
ing part in local, or Iowa, affairs. General 
Weaver had by nature many of the elements of 
actual greatness, and these natural qualities he 
improved by application and experience. It 
may be said that he achieved eminence in all the 
larger fields except that of commercial success 
and money-making. His failure in that is to be 
credited to his generous nature and his lifelong 
desire to help others rather than himself. 
Indeed, the finest thing to me in his whole 
career of many achievements is that he has 
always been the willing and valorous and effec- 
tual friend of the weak, the oppressed and the 
needy. Great as he could have been by apply- 
ing himself as a lawyer, he could have achieved 
great fortune and made money in many other 
ways. It is to his credit that he preferred to be 
useful to his fellow men rather than to achieve 
money and fortune for himself." 

An interesting combination of circumstances 
made it possible for three Eepublican Gov- 
ernors of the State to write letters of approval 
of the plan for the presentation of General 
Weaver's portrait, each writing while actually 
in office, and all within about three months of 
each other: Governor A. B. Cummins wrote 
October 3, 1908 ; Governor Warren Garst wrote 
December 9, 1908 ; and Governor B. F. Carroll 


wrote January 25, 1909. The non-partisan 
character of these testimonials is emphasized 
when we remember that General Weaver was at 
the time a Democrat, and had left the Repub- 
lican party thirty years before. 

Another confirmation of the absence of any- 
thing of a political character from this cor- 
respondence is to be found in a letter from 
W. W. Baldwin of Burlington. He regarded 
the placing of General Weaver's portrait in the 
gallery of the Historical Department as ^'cer- 
tainly appropriate", because he represented 
*'the patriotic sentiment of the state, for he was 
a splendid soldier in the War for the Union ; he 
stands for ability in public debate of a high 
order, and he has upheld his political convic- 
tions with courage and fidelity in the face of 
many defeats, and much disappointment and 
personal loss to himself. 

' ' I have not always agreed with his views and 
theories of government and politics, but I have 
never failed to admire the charm and vigor with 
which he defended them, and have always been 
glad to call him my personal friend. 

' ' Some of the earliest recollections of my boy- 
hood are connected with General Weaver . . 
. . I shall never forget the lofty sentiment 
with which he inspired me as a youth when, in 
an important law-suit, he denounced a notorious 
social miscreant in words that fairly flamed 


with eloquent indignation and won a substan- 
tial verdict. Forty years later, I could not 
conceal my admiration for the masterly skill 
with which he argued through a State conven- 
tion a proposition to which I could not agree at 
all. The same old fire of speech was there, de- 
livered in the same old captivating way. ^ ' 

W. D. Jamieson, Congressman-elect from the 
eighth district and a political friend and asso- 
ciate, wrote that he admired General Weaver 
'^for the temptations he has withstood. At one 
time he was taken up into the high mountain 
and offered a seat in the United States Senate 
from Iowa if he would — not swerve actually — 
but by his silence appear to swerve from the 
course ahead of him that his conscience had 
mapped out .... On every occasion his 
character has stood out clear and true — four 
square to every wind that blew. I first saw 
General Weaver when I was a little fellow ten 
years old. My impression of him then was that 
he was a mighty smart man, and I thought he 
was honest. An added acquaintance of a quar- 
ter of a century, more or less intimate, has 
deepened my child's estimate in both regards. 

**His preacher told me one time that he went 
to prayer meetings on Thursday evenings, and 
that he worked at his Christianity. I believe 
this is true, for I have never yet seen a single 
act of his that I thought was otherwise than in 


conformity with his conception of the right. I 
was called upon, not long ago, to introduce him 
at a political meeting, and almost without think- 
ing of what I was saying I told the audience 
that he was the one man who was a factor in 
our political life, whom I had introduced up to 
that time, of whom I could say that he believed 
in the sermon on the mount, and that he took 
that sermon into his every day political life'\ 
Mr. N. E. Kendall, Republican Congressman- 
elect from Weaver ^s old district, the sixth, de- 
scribed him as ^^one of the most remarkable 
men Iowa has ever produced. His career has 
been unquiet, because his nature has been un- 
compromising. He is not inclined to perceive 
an abuse without attacking it with all his vigor, 
and he is not disposed to observe a reform with- 
out espousing it with all his ability .... 
Upon all problems public or private, upon all 
issues social or religious, upon all questions 
moral or political, his yea is yea, and his nay is 
nay. Throughout all the decades which have 
intervened since that memorable day nearly 
half a century ago when he enlisted as a soldier 
for the Union in the Second Iowa Infantry, he 
has been constantly engaged in battle with some 
system, or some principle, or some opinion. 
He has not always triumphed, and yet he has 
been victorious, for this is true: that never 
once in all his long and laborious life has his 


sterling integrity been assailed, his stalwart 
rectitude questioned, his steadfast fidelity im- 
peached. In the bitterness of repeated political 
campaigns men have challenged the correctness 
of his conclusions, but they have never im- 
pugned the sincerity of his convictions. When 
the impartial history of his generation is com- 
piled he will be awarded adequate credit as a 
powerful, aggressive and incorruptible influ- 
ence for patriotism, for temperance, for re- 
ligion. He has been 

Patient of toil, serene amid alarms. 
Inflexible in faith, indomitable in arms. 
And he comes to twilight and evening star with 
honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, to 
accompany his old age." 

Brief quotations from other letters in the 
same collection simply add emphasis to the 
testimony already presented. Henry Wallace 
of Wallace's Farmer wrote that he knew ^^of 
no man in the state more deserving of a place 
in the hall of fame of the State of Iowa. How- 
ever honest men may have differed from him in 
their conviction or their views of public policy, 
all will concede to him honesty of conviction, 
sincerity of purpose and a supreme desire to 
benefit his fellow men'\ 

Lafayette Young of The Des Moines Capital 
expressed his pleasure that General Weaver 
was to be given *^ proper recognition in lowa^s 


Hall of Fame ' \ and referred to him as ^ ^ the old 
hero. . . . We all love him because he is a 
patriot and because he is a fine specimen of 
western citizenship, virile and active/' 

State Librarian, Johnson Brigham, declared 
that he had never heard General Weaver's 
*^ patriotism and courage questioned, and his 
honor impugned. I have read with keen appre- 
ciation the story of his bravery in battle and 
his endurance in camp and on the march, and 
have listened to his oratory with admiration, 
even when his eloquence was directed against 
my party. There is nothing more helpful to 
the party in power than the honest criticism of 
its opponents. ''^^^ 


Final Tributes 

General Weaver died at the home of his 
daughter, Mrs. H. C. Evans, in Des Moines, on 
Tuesday, February 6, 1912, at 1 : 15 in the 
afternoon. His death came unexpectedly after 
an illness of only a couple days. He had suf- 
fered an attack of indigestion on the Sunday 
morning preceding, which affected the heart 
acutely. He seemed to be recovering, when he 
experienced a fainting spell about noon on 
Tuesday from which he never rallied. From 
that time his life ebbed away calmly and peace- 
fully. He retained consciousness to the last. 
His wife and all his children, except one daugh- 
ter, were with him when he passed away.^^^ 

The funeral was held on Thursday, February 
8th at 2 : 30 P. M. at the First Methodist Church 
in Des Moines. From noon until the time fixed 
for the services the body lay in state. Behind 
the family reservation the pews were filled by 
more than one hundred and fifty citizens of 
Colfax. At the right members of the AVoman's 
Christian Temperance Union were seated and 
behind them the Yeomen. The nave of the 
church was occupied by the friends and ad- 



mirers of the dead statesman. On the left sat a 
hundred veterans of the Civil War, including 
survivors of General Weaver's own regiment. 
The pallbearers were: J. B. Weaver, Jr. and 
A. C. Weaver, the two sons; H. C. Evans, 
Edward Cohrt, and Charles Sullenberger, the 
three sons-in-law; and D. H. Payne, a nephew. 
Two songs were sung during the services — 
Lead, Kindly Light by a quartette before the 
prayer at the beginning, and Does Jesus Care 
by Mr. F. V. Evans before the benediction. 

Eev. Edward Pruitt of Colfax, pastor of 
General Weaver's home church, spoke of the 
life of the deceased and of his influence in the 
town where he had lived for nearly sixteen 
years. He had often thought ''how desirable it 
would be to be wholly at peace with God", and 
had ' ' wondered if it could be true in any life ' '. 
The example of ''this godly man" had con- 
vinced him that his ' ' religion was a part of his 
life", and that he regarded religion as "a ne- 
cessity and not a convenience. ' ' He discovered 
that he had "a pronounced sense of the needs 
of the common people from the religious side", 
and constantly "was reading before them the 
word of God. No matter what kind of a meet- 
ing he was in, he found place and time to say a 
w^ord for his Master .... and often when 
he was speaking to the old soldiers he would 
open the book and preach to them .... He 


never asked would the task be difficult? Is it 
possible for us to succeed? But he always 
asked, is it right? and the price was not too big 
to pay if it was right.'' 

The next speaker was the Rev. Orien W. 
Fifer of the Grace Methodist Church, Des 
Moines. He described General Weaver as 
*^ essentially democratic, at home with the com- 
mon people, reading their minds and feeling 
their heart beats as if gifted with superhuman 
skill, and above all one with them in aspiration, 
purpose and affection. He was the great com- 
moner, like product with Abraham Lincoln of 
these western prairies .... Illinois gave 
Lincoln, the man of incomparable compassion. 
Nebraska has given Bryan, the man of un- 
swerving honesty and consistency. Iowa is no 
less proud of Weaver, the dauntless crusader of 
unflinching courage .... 

*^He was the tribune of the people. For them 
he was voice and heart. From some lofty 
height of vision or inspiration he came down to 
plead for the men who toiled, the true home- 
makers of America. The causes he advocated 
were in the interest of that class which has no 
great lobbyists, no strong organizations, no 
skillful friends at court. If any of the causes 
he advocated were not perfect in plan there can 
be no doubt that the purpose of every cause was 
the uplift of the man who had no influential 


friends. Eeared on soil of Iowa, widened by 
the greatness of the times in which he lived, 
perfected in compassion by the scenes of the 
Civil War, he was drawn near to the heart of 
humanity. The greatest tribute one can bring 
is this — that out of all his public career, he 
made no fortune, gained no store of riches, but 
multiplied his friends by the thousands and 
died beloved by friend and respected by foe. 

**But it was as a Christian man that his qual- 
ity appeared in highest worth. Generous to a 
fault, faithful to a degree involving risk of 
health in attendance upon the church he loved, 
fervent in the devotional habits of a Christian, 
stalwart and unfailing in aiding every good 
work, naming and honoring his Lord in private 
and in public without ostentation or intrusion, 
making himself a winner of souls, a teacher for 
years of the things of Christ, the fairest flower 
of his character was the red rose of spiritual 
devotion. For nearly sixty years he was a 
member of the church.'^ 

Father James Nugent, pastor of the Church 
of the Visitation of Des Moines, made the final 
address. Speaking extemporaneously as a close 
friend of General Weaver for more than thirty 
years, he devoted himself to an eulogy of the 
man. He had learned to look upon him ^^as a 
man of sterling character'', and in ^^ following 


his life work on the platform and the hustings * \ 
he had come ^^to recognize in him the ring of 
the true man. He was an orator of unusual ex- 
cellence, and one of the best proofs of an orator 
is that he says what he means and he means 
what is right .... There is, I think, no 
man in the country who has ever heard General 
Weaver's speeches, could say when he finished, 
* I wonder if the General believes that '. We all 
knew that he did. . . . 

^^If any man ever thought that God and one 
made a majority, he was that man, and he 
fought with that idea in his head. His life is 
now a part of his country's records, but it is 
useless to dwell here on this solemn occasion 
upon his history. He wrote it large himself in 
the annals of his country. He was honorable in 
the highest degree. He lived a clean life as a 
citizen. An intelligent man, always religious 
— intensely religious. . . . 

^^We have learned to respect the man on ac- 
count of his integrity; and if I were going to 
say one thing in special honor and praise of 
James B. Weaver, I would say that he was a 
conscientious man .... Had it not been 
so, he might have been a rich man. He had the 
talent and he had the ability, and he had the 
world opening before him. Avenues of wealth, 
honor and fame spread out around him, but, 
like the high priest of the temple, he clung to 


his ideals and offered a sacrifice no less than 
the sacrifice of a noble life. To-day his country 
reveres his name, and the highest gift that is 
left to his family is the clean, unspotted reputa- 
tion of a noble soldier and a noble citizen. "^^^ 

Many telegrams of sympathy were received 
by the family from men prominent in public life 
who knew General Weaver and were shocked to 
hear of his death. Among those who sent mes- 
sages were Speaker Champ Clark and Charles 
W. Bryan, brother of William J. Bryan, who 
was in Texas en route to Arizona, and who 
could not be reached in time for him to attend 
the funeral. Many marks of respect were 
shown to General Weaver in Colfax and Des 
Moines at the time of the funeral.^*^"*^ 

Under the caption A Giant Fallen, Bryan's 
Commoner declared that the death of General 
Weaver removed ^^one of the giants of the 
political forest. He represented all that is 
highest in citizenship and noblest in manhood. 
For three score years almost he was a warrior, 
fighting the battles of the common people. His 
strong body, his active mind and his great heart 
— all were at the service of his fellows. He 
was a pioneer in the reforms which are now 
marching on to victory and his last days were 
gladdened by the consciousness that he had not 
labored in vain. Happy man to have lived to 
see the harvest ripening in the field in which he 


toiled so faithfully. He was more than an ex- 
emplary citizen; he was a man of the purest 
and most exalted type. In every relation of life 
he played his part with fidelity. He did not 
amass wealth, but he left his family what money 
cannot buy — a spotless name and a secure 
place in the hearts of his countrymen. '^^^^ 

In an editorial upon the death of General 
Weaver, The Register and Leader referred to 
the Civil War as * ' the determining factor in his 
life. On the battlefield his nature was set. He 
became a fighter for the right, and a fighter for 
the right he was to his last breath, perhaps not 
always seeing the right with unerring vision, 
but pursuing it with unabating zeal and sacri- 

** Coming from the war with military honors 
fairly won, the slave freed, he stepped into civil 
life at a time when faith in humanity was 
strong, and human rights were uppermost. The 
first hint that the money the boys at the front 
had taken at a discount was not good enough 
for the bondholders stirred him to the core. 
His whole subsequent political career was 
marked out as he took leadership in the green- 
back movement. He saw the logic of the situ- 
ation, and he never wavered. In fifty years he 
was never at outs with himself. 

''It is probably true that Iowa has produced 
no man who was his equal in debate; certainly 


in his prime there was not in the United States 
his superior. No man ever crossed swords with 
him on the stump or in congress and got away 
to boast of the encounter. On the contrary, he 
often won a signal victory when public senti- 
ment was plainly against the cause he advo- 
cated. He owed more than one election to his 
powers of presentation and persuasion. He 
was witty, bold, and eloquent, always on his 
feet. He lost no battles through lack of gen- 
eralship. . . . 

*^He lost a republican nomination for gov- 
ernor because of his too early alignment against 
the saloon. The convention was for him, and 
his nomination was conceded. But the political 
managers, exerting the power of the old days, 
decided that it would be unwise to commit the 
party to so advanced a position. Had he been 
named and elected, Iowa might have been lead- 
ing an insurgent movement twenty years 
earlier. That is one of the 4fs of history^ of 
engaging interest. 

^^Take him all in all, as pioneer, as soldier, 
as fighter for the right, as worker in the church, 
as enemy of the saloon, as father and friend of 
his family, as orator, as leader of movements, 
dying without an unclean dollar sticking to his 
palm, without an unclean record to suppress, 
how shall we estimate his seventy years in 
Iowa? His failure to be with the majority, to 


win the honors of place and power, may be the 
measure of his failure to properly judge the 
needs of his time. And, again, it may mean 
merely that he was somewhat ahead of his 
time, a skirmisher ^who drove the pickets 

jj^J M344 

Major John F. Lacey, Weaver's political op- 
ponent in the sixth district in 1888 and 1898, 
emphasized the fact that he was criticized ^^for 
his radicalism but lived to see the wildest of his 
political principles competed for by opposing 
political parties each claiming to have 'seen it 
first'. Gen. Weaver had a fine sense of humor 
and in the last few years greatly enjoyed the 
spectacle of his old political opponents mas- 
querading in his old clothes .... He had 
seen many victories and many defeats, but I 
think the victory of his life was when his two 
little granddaughters pulled the cords that ex- 
posed his portrait to the view of the assembled 
multitude. "3^-5 

The Sioux City Tribune described General 
Weaver as a man of '^ prophetic vision. Social, 
political and industrial evils which he pointed 
out years ago are today acknowledged to exist 
by every person familiar with current national 
affairs, and to their extermination is being de- 
voted the best thought and tlie highest states- 
manship of the United States. 

**When General Weaver becran his crusade 


as niie first insurgent', lie met the nsual scorn 
and contumely heaped upon men who are in 
advance of their time. Interests which his agi- 
tation threatened, combined with a public as 
yet unawakened to the evils which Weaver so 
clearly perceived, joined in making him the 
most unpopular man in Iowa, and for years he 
was the target for ridicule, abuse, contempt and 

^^ Times have changed and so has the public 
attitude toward General Weaver. Men have 
come almost universally to recognize that the 
evils and dangers which he emphasized and 
condemned were and are real. It is unneces- 
sary to agree with all his political views to con- 
cede that in him were elements of a high order 
of greatness, nor need it be admitted that the 
remedies he suggested were infallibly wise and 
practical. But the fact remains that he fought 
his fight according to the best light given him; 
that he kept the faith, and lived to see most of 
the ideas which were once ridiculed as the 
dreams of a crank become the accepted political 
doctrines of the people of Iowa and of the coun- 
try at large .... In his closing years 
there must have been consolation for him in the 
fact that the old bitterness with which he was 
once regarded had passed away, and that he 
had come to enjoy the esteem, confidence and 
admiration of his fellow citizens of the Hawk- 
eye state. ''^^^ 



Congressman N. E. Kendall, who represented 
the sixth district from 1909 to 1913, announced 
General Weaver ^s death to the House of Eepre- 
sentatives on February 8th in the customary 
way. He spoke of his career as ^4n many 
notable respects .... without parallel in 
the political history of the American Eepublic. 
From the day of his youth, when he volunteered 
as a private soldier in the Second Iowa Infan- 
try, to the day of his death at three score and 
nine years, he was constantly on the firing line, 
advancing some policy which he enthusiastic- 
ally favored or combating some principle which 
he earnestly condemned. He w^as a natural 
polemic, whether in official position or in hon- 
orable retirement, always amply armed for any 
controversy, and challenging conflict with any 
adversary he might encounter. He never hesi- 
tated to espouse a cause unfamiliar or unpop- 
ular, and he would' struggle to the uttermost to 
vindicate the beliefs he entertained. While he 
did not always achieve victory, he never con- 
fessed defeat .... many men differed 
from the opinions he defended, but all men rec- 
ognized his sincerity of conviction and his 
integrity of purpose. His life is an inspiring 
illustration of extraordinary ability, of unex- 
ampled energy, of unblemished character — all 
devoted with unfaltering fidelity to the welfare 
of his fellow men."^^^ 


Another recognition of Weaver ^s life and 
work came three years after his death when his 
old home in Bloomfield was dedicated for public 
use by the Davis County Chautauqua Associa- 
tion as Weaver Park. The purchase of the old 
homestead was the completion of a plan con- 
ceived four or ^ve years earlier to provide 
suitable grounds for the association which had 
been established in 1905 and had had remark- 
able success under rather adverse financial con- 
ditions. The old Weaver homestead had from 
the start been looked upon with a great deal of 
favor as a site for the purpose, and a year be- 
fore a few enterprising men of the county had 
started a subscription list to raise funds. The 
ground was purchased for $4500, and an option 
was held by the association upon some adjoin- 
ing land which would cost about $1400. It was 
estimated that to improve the grounds, beautify 
them, and build a coliseum, would cost nearly 

The plan was to preserve the house built by 
General Weaver, and occupied by him for a 
number of years as his home. Part of it would 
probably be used by the caretaker, and the rest 
would form a kind of community home. The 
plan was not confined to the Chautauqua alone, 
although it had taken the initiative, but it was 
*^a movement on behalf of the people of the 
county to buy and convert into a park the home 


of its most distinguished citizen as a perpetual 
memorial to that great statesman, brave sol- 
dier and true reformer, a man whose relation 
to his wife, to his family and neighbors was 
pure and in every way ideal". The people of 
the county were asked to help in two ways — 
by patronizing the Chautauqua liberally, and by 
subscribing for the stock of the association 
which was sold at $10 a share. About one hun- 
dred and fifty residents of the county had 
already subscribed for from one to twenty-five 

The dedication of the Weaver Park occurred 
on August 18, 1915, and the program consisted 
of introductory and explanatory remarks by 
Congressman-elect C. W. Ramseyer, a state- 
ment concerning the history of the grounds by 
James B. Weaver, Jr., and the dedicatory ad- 
dress by William J. Bryan. Governors Carroll 
and Clarke were prevented from coming by 
previous engagements. Of the Congressmen 
living in the district, all of whom had been in- 
vited, ex-Congressman F. E. White and N. E. 
Kendall sent their regrets, while ex-Congress- 
man D. W. Hamilton and Congressman Sant 
Kirkpatrick were present. The members of the 
Weaver family who attended, in addition to 
J. B. Weaver, Jr., were Mrs. Susan Evans, Mr. 
Evans, and two daughters, Mrs. Ruth Denny 
and daughter, Mrs. Esther Cohrt and Mr. Cohrt. 


Mr. Bryan began his address by commenting 
upon the undertaking embodied in Weaver Park 
^'as a splendid thought and a credit to the one 
into whose mind it first came". He felt sure 
that, if General Weaver could speak from the 
grave, he would be especially gratified with the 
plan ^^to make of his home a civic center". He 
then referred to the pleasure with which he had 
participated in the presentation of General 
Weaver's portrait a few years ago. He also 
volunteered to help in the financing of the enter- 
prise and subscribed for ^Ye shares. 

^^You who loved General Weaver while he 
was among you as a citizen may have had more 
intimate acquaintance with him, so far as it 
pertains to the details of his life, and you have 
had more opportunity than I have had to talk 
with him and to profit by his conversation, but 
none of you were ever nearer to him than I felt 
that I was, and I feel sure that none of you ever 
felt more benefit from what he said and did 
than I did, and it is a pleasure to me to asso- 
ciate myself and my family with this movement 
that is to commemorate his name and perpetu- 
ate his memory. His son, who has the distinc- 
tion to bear his full name has told you some of 
the secrets. I will let you into one. 

^^If I had been elected in 1896 he would have 
had a new honor added to those already upon 
him. I had not much time to think or plan, but 


I had time enough to decide that, if I became 
President, General Weaver would be a member 
of my cabinet. In that campaign none was more 
devoted to my interests politically than he, and 
since then none has been more loyal in his per- 
sonal relationship or more congenial in his 
companionship than he was, up to the day of 
his death. I had the honor as well as the pleas- 
ure of meeting him on many occasions both in 
public and private ; at banquets and at his home 
table, and the memory — the sweet memory of 
that man whose life was large enough to em- 
brace all the interests of humanity — that sweet 
memory will always remain with me. . . . 

**I am glad that I am able to be here and to 
participate with you to-day in doing honor to 
the memory of a really great man, a man who 
had a conviction — a man who was in advance 
of most of the people of his time in regard to 
the things that stood in the way of the people 's 
good, the things that must be removed before 
the people might walk forward as rapidly as 
they ought. I have long regarded General 
Weaver as one of the great pioneers of the 
later days. I have been given a great deal 
more credit than I deserve for work that I have 
done. Some of the things that I have been pio- 
neering, and most of the things that I have been 
following, have been things that others have 
suggested before I did." 


Mr. Bryan then gave ^^a list of some of the 
things that were advocated by General Weaver 
when he ran for President in 1880", and re- 
marked that he himself was only twenty years 
old at the time, and took ''a very minor part" 
in the campaign. The list of measures in- 
cluded a graduated income tax, postal savings 
banks, the initiative and referendum, the pop- 
ular election of United States Senators, an 
eight hour labor law, sanitary conditions in 
industrial establishments, the prohibition of 
child labor, the establishment of departments of 
Agriculture and Labor, the reduction of the 
powers of the Speaker and more democratic 
rules for the House of Representatives, prohi- 
bition of speculation in government lands, a 
sufficient volume of currency, and the expan- 
sion of the powers of government. He believed 
in making ^Hhe government an instrument for 
the accomplishment of the peoples ' will and the 
peoples' good. . . . 

^^Now those are some of the things he advo- 
cated thirty-five years ago, and then as he went 
along he kept advocating other things as he 
came in view of them. Among the things that 
he advocated in that time were woman suffrage 
and the submission to a vote of the people of 
the questions of the manufacture and sale of 
liquor. You will find he had confidence in the 
people ; that he trusted them ; that he was will- 


ing to let them decide the questions affecting 
them, and, my friends, that is the test of 
democracy .... The real test of a demo- 
crat is his willingness to trust the people. The 
more democratic a man is the more completely 
does he trust the people, and General Weaver, 
no matter by what party name he called himself 
. . . . trusted the people. He believed, as 
every true democrat must believe, that the peo- 
ple have the right to have what they want in 
government, that the people have the right to 
make their own mistakes, for unless you con- 
cede to them the right to make their own mis- 
takes, the more apt they are to make mistakes. 
. . . . General Weaver understood this and 
therefore he appealed to the people as the 
source of power and wanted them to decide the 
questions, knowing that when the people decide 
the questions they will be determined largely 
upon the principles of morality. When a ques- 
tion is settled on the basis of moral character, 
it is settled for good, but not until then."^^^ 

The presentation of the portrait in 1909 and 
the dedication of Weaver Park in 1915 consti- 
tute a very remarkable recognition of the life 
and work of a man who, as he expressed it, was 
usually in the '^ minor minority". He was for- 
tunate in that he lived to see the two great 
parties adopt a large number of his own meas- 
ures and enact them into law. He was fortu- 


nate, too, in the time of his death which 
happened to occur when the so-called ^^progres- 
sive movement ' ' seemed to be reaching a climax, 
and when a majority of the people of the coun- 
try seemed to have arrived at the position 
towards which he had been working for thirty 
years. The campaign of 1912, on the eve of 
which he died, was the logical result of his own 
campaigns of 1880 and 1892, and also of that 
of 1896, in which he really shared with Bryan 
the honors of leadership through his contribu- 
tion of his support of 1892 and his part in the 
nomination of Bryan by the Populists. The 
near approach to success of the ^^ alliance'' of 
1896 undoubtedly stimulated the progressive 
movement in the Eepublican party, led by La 
Follette and later in the national sphere by 
Eoosevelt. The pioneer of 1880 lived to see the 
300,000 voters of that year conceded to have 
been the skirmish line in an advance which had 
developed into the great army of progressive 
voters of 1912. He himself had driven in 
many of the pickets of conservatism, and many 
more had been driven in by the fresh forces 
which he had rallied and stimulated in his cam- 
paigns of education, waged throughout the 
country almost continuously from 1880 down to 
his death in 1912. 

His last important public address at a me- 
morial service in honor of the late Carroll 


Wright, shortly after his death in October, 
1911, brings out very clearly his fundamental 
beliefs and the principles which controlled his 
personal and public life. In this address 
General Weaver declared that 'Hhe most won- 
derful and fascinating phenomenon in the 
whole sphere of human association is person- 
ality. The thing we cherish most in history is 
not so much the record of events as the revela- 
tion of men and women. 

*^A country is great, not through its mag- 
nificent scenery, delightful climate and varied 
resources, but because of the men and women 
who give it its national character. More than 
our traditions, memories, poetry, literature and 
art are our personal heroes. In our own pri- 
vate life, what we value most is not our homes, 
lands, commerce, wealth, culture and progress, 
but our friends — our loved ones. 

'^It is the crowning charm of revelation that 
God has revealed himself to man in the person- 
ality of Jesus — a being of real flesh and blood, 
a hero of heroes, who could be seen and who 
walked, talked, worked, ate, slept and wept. It 
is a constant source of thankfulness that he is 
not mere cold abstraction or principle, but a 
real person whom we can touch with our con- 
sciousness and embrace with our arms of faith 
and love. 

Association reveals personality and ac- 



quaints us with character, discloses the ideals 
which guide our lives and which intensify and 
in fact transfigure us and those with whom we 
associate. ''^"^^ 

General Weaver requested of his children 
that if an epitaph should ever be used in his 
memory it should consist simply of the words 
*^He was a friend of the poor'\ The night 
before he died, as his son sat at his bedside 
reading to him extracts from famous writers, 
he asked that one passage in particular be read 
over three times. The passage was as follows : 
**I am the man who prays for whoso fares 
lonely in the world, the folk that go lost for a 
friend's hand or a woman's breast on aching 
journeys, and for all who know no lights at 
evening, put I up my prayers.'' Indeed ^Hhis 
sentiment w^as really an expression of the domi- 
nating passion" of his life — *^that he might be 
of service to the bereft of the world. "^^^ 





1 The New York World, July 10, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 21. 

2 This account of James Baird Weaver's early life is taken 
largely from an unpublished manuscript entitled Memoranda 
with Eespect to the Life of James Baird Weaver which was 
prepared by Mr. Weaver himself. It covers the period from 
1833 to 1859. 

3 The New York World, July 10, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 21. 

4 Memoranda with Bespect to the Life of James Baird 

5 The Mexican War closed with the conclusion of peace in 
February, 1848. Mexico City was occupied in September, 1847. 
It is probable that Mr. Weaver refers to the practical end 
rather than to the time when peace was actually concluded. 
Otherwise his dates are incorrect. 

6 The account of the California journey is taken from three 
articles by General Weaver, published in The World Eeview, 
January 18th and 25th and February 1, 1902. 

7 The New York World, July 10, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 21. 

8 Memorandum in regard to the Graduation of General 
Weaver at Cincinnati College; The New York World, July 10, 
1892, in the Weaver Scrap Book, p. 21. 


9 Memorandum in regard to the Graduation of General 
Weaver at Cincinnati College. 



10 Rhodes 's History of the United States, Vol. II, p. 58. See 
In Memoriam, published by the Loyal Legion of the United 
States, 1912, p. 3. 

11 Rhodes 's History of the United States, Vol. II, p. 59; 
Salter's The Life of James W. Grimes, pp. 33, 54. 

12 Memoranda with Eespect to the Life of James Baird 

13 Comment by J. B. Weaver, Jr., upon Memoranda with 
Bespect to the Life of James Baird Weaver; the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 153. 

^^ Memoranda with Eespect to the Life of James Baird 

15 Ilerriott's The Eepublican State Convention in the Aniials 
of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. IX, pp. 409, 410, 411. 

isHerriott's Iowa and The First Nomination of Abraham 
Lincoln in the Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. VIII, p. 93. 

i7Herriott's Iowa and The First Nomination of Abraham 
Lincoln in the Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. VIII, p. 217. 

18 The New York World, July 10, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap 
Boole, p. 21. 

19 Clipping from a Des Moines paper dated July 13, 1908, in 
the Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 152, 153. 

In The Cyclopedia of American Government, Vol. I, p. 136, 
it is stated that the expression was "used first by Oliver P. 
Morton indicating the calling up of the issue of the Civil War 
for partisan purposes." 

20 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 152. 


21 Memorandum of B. Weaver, Jr.; the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 31; KirTcwood Military Letter Book, No. 1, p. 8. 

22 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 31. 

^^Eoster and Eecord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Eehellion, Vol. I, p. 91; IngersolPs Iowa and the Eehellion^ 
p. 33; Byers's Iowa in War Times, p. 60. 


24 Hosier and Eecord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Eehellion, Vol. I, p. 92; Byers's loica in War Times, p. 109. 

25 Ingersoll's Iowa and the Hehellion, p. 35; Byers's lotva in 
War Times, p. 482. 

26 Ingersoll's loiva and the Eehellion, p. 36; Byers's loiva in 
War Times, pp. 95, 96. 

27Hosmer's The Appeal to Arms, pp. 88-92; Rhodes 's His- 
tory of the United States, Vol. Ill, pp. 581-593. 

28 Eoster and Eecord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Eebellion, Vol. I, pp. 92-94; Ingersoll's Iowa and the Eehel- 
lion, pp. 38-45; Twombly's The Second Iowa Infantry at Fort 
Bonelson (pamphlet); statement of James B. Weaver, Jr.; 
Byers's Iowa in War Times, pp. 96-104; KirTcwood Military 
Letter Book, No. 4, pp. 105, 106; Clark's Samuel Jordan 
Kirkwood, pp. 227-229. 

29 In Memoriam, published by the Loyal Legion of the 
United States, 1912, p. 2. 

30 Letter of James B. Weaver to his wife addressed from 
Fort Donelson, February 19, 1862. 

31 Twombly's The Second Iowa Infantry at Fort Donelson, 
pp. 16, 17. 

32 Twombly's The Second Iowa Infantry at Fort Donelson, 
p. 10. 

33 Ingersoll 's lotva and the Eehellion, pp. 45, 46; The War 
of the Eehellion: a Compilation of the Official Eecords of the 
Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. VII, p. 168. 

34lIosmer's The Appeal to Arms, pp. 96-98; Rhodes 's His- 
tory of the United States, Vol. Ill, pp. 617-620. 

35 Ingersoll 's Iowa and the Eehellion, p. 46. 

36 Rhodes 's History of the United States, Vol. Ill, pp. 620- 
625; Hosmer's The Appeal to Arms, pp. 99-107. 

37 Eoster and Eecord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Eehellion, Vol. I, pp. 94, 95; Ingersoll's Iowa and the Eehel- 



lion, p. 46; Byers's Iowa in War Times, pp. 122-145; Eich's 
The Battle of Shiloh. 

38 Letter of James B. Weaver to his wife addressed from 
Pittsburg, Tennessee, April 9, 1862. The account in this letter 
does not agree with statements made by Ehodes and Hosmer. 
The size of Confederate forces estimated is double the actual 
numbers. The report of the victory at Corinth was also un- 
founded. The city was not occupied by Union troops until 
late in May. 

39 Hosmer 's The Appeal to Arms, pp. 109, 218-229; Rhodes 's 
History of the United States, Vol. IV, pp. 97, 173-180; 
Byers's Iowa in War Times, p. 149. 

40 Boster and Becord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Behellion, Vol. I, p. 95; Ingersoll's loiva and the Behellion, p. 
47; Twombly's The Second Iowa Infantry at Fort Donelson, 
p. 19. 

41 Statement of James B. Weaver, Jr. ; Boster and Becord of 
Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Behellion, Vol. I, p. 222. 

42 Statement of Captain John M. Duffield in the Weaver 
Papers; EirJcwood Military Letter Booh, No. 4, pp. 130, 245. 

43 Boster and Becord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Behellion, Vol. I, pp. 95, 96. 

44 Letters of James B. Weaver to his wife from Corinth, 
October 6, 1862, and from Rienzi, Mississippi, October 12, 

45 Boster and Becord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the 
Behellion, Vol. I, p, 96; Ingersoll's Iowa and the Behellion, 
pp. 48, 49. 

46 Ingersoll 's Iowa and the Behellion, p. 49; Twombly's 
The Second Iowa Infantry at Fort Donelson, p. 19; Byers's 
Iowa in War Times, pp. 482, 483. 

47 Ingersoll's Iowa and the Behellion, pp. 50, 51; Boster and 
Becord of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Behellion, Vol. I, 
p. 96; Twombly's The Second Iowa Infantry, p. 20; Byers's 
Iowa in War Times, p. 483. 



48 In Memoriam, published by the Loyal Legion of the 
United States, 1912, pp. 2, 3; the Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 27; 
Byers's Iowa in War Times, p. 483. 

49 Stuart 's Iowa Colonels and Eegiments, p. 76. Praise of 
Weaver's bravery by this author is the more noteworthy be- 
cause he also refers to his ' ' vanity ' ' and ' ' affectation in 
delivery ' '. 

50 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 44, 113. 

51 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 36 (cartoon entitled candi- 
date Weaver's war record), 43, 76, 99, 113. 

52 Letter of General G. M. Dodge to Weaver, dated New 
York City, October 14, 1892, in the Weaver Papers; the 
Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 85. 

53 Letter from Theo. Harris, Sr., dated ' ' near Fayetteville, 
Tennessee", July 20, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap Bool', p. 50. 

54 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 113. 


55 Moore's Davis County Disturbances in Beport of the Ad- 
jutant General of the State of Iowa, 1864-1865, pp. 1419- 
1428 ; Byers 's Iowa in War Times, pp. 474, 475 ; Gue 's History 
of Iowa, Vol. II, pp. 58, 82-94, 112-114. 


56 Burlington Weelely Hawlc-Eye, September 2, 1865, January 
20, 1866. 

57 Charles City Intelligencer, June 22, 1865; The Keosauqua 
Weelely Republican, June 22, 1865. 

68 Burlington Weelely Hawle-Eye, October 14, 1865. 

59 Burlington Weelely Eawle-Eye, June 30, 1866; The Fair- 
field Ledger, July 12, 1866; The Keosauqua Weelely Eepub- 
lican, July 5, 1866. 

Qo Iowa Official Register, 1915-1916, p. 845; Weelely Gate 


I ■ p 

City (Keokuk), October 24, 1866; Bloomfield Democrat, March 
12, 1874. 

Qi Burlington WeeMy Hawlc-Eye, October 13, 1866; WeeUy 
Gate City (Keokuk), October 17, 1866. 

62Gue's History of Iowa, Vol. IV, p. 280; :Report of the 
Commissioner of Internal Eevenue, 1867, p. xiii; Annual Eeport 
on the State of the Finances, 1873, pp. 62-64. 

Qs Burlington WeeMy Hawlc-Eye, September 28, 1871. 

^^Bloomfield Democrat, November 25, 1875; Burlington 
WeeUy Hawl--Eye, August 29, 1872. 

^^ The WeeMy Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), July 24, 

^fi The WeeMy Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), July 24, 

67 Bloomfield Democrat, July 23, August 6 and 13, 1874. 

«8 Clarkson 's The Stampede from General Weaver in the Ee- 
puhlican Convention of 1875 in the Annals of Iowa (Third 
Series), Vol. X, No. 8, pp. 564, 565; Letter of John Mahin to 
Weaver, October 31, 1911, in the Weaver Papers, refers to 
boasts made by his opponents that they had '^ defeated that 
d d Methodist". 

^^ The WeeMy Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), July 2, 
1875; Gue's History of Iowa, Vol. Ill, pp. 72, 73; Clark's 
The History of Liquor Legislation in Iowa in The Iowa Journal 
of History and Politics, Vol. VI, p. 361. 

70 Clarkson 's The Stampede from General Weaver in the Ee- 
puhlican Convention of 187 S in the Annals of Iowa (Third 
Series), Vol. X, No. 8, pp. 564-568. See Weaver's letter in The 
Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), October 30, 1911. 

fi The WeeMy Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), July 2, 

72 Bloomfield Democrat, July 15, 1875. 

73 Bloomfield Democrat, September 2, 1875. 

74 Bloomfield Democrat, September 23, 1875. 


'^^Bloom-field Democrat, October 1, 1875. 

7Q Bloomfield Democrat, October 14, 1875. 

77 Bloomfield Democrat, October 21, 1875. Weaver received 
1459 votes to 1596 for Wonn. His vote in his own township 
compared with that for Kirkwood was as follows: Kirkwood 
364, Weaver 353. His vote in the county compared with Kirk- 
wood's was as follows: Kirkwood 1485, Weaver 1459. 

"^^ Bloomfield Democrat, November 4, 1875. 

'19 Bloomfield Democrat, October 28, 1875. 

80 Quoted in the Bloomfield Democrat, November 25, 1875. 

81 Bloomfield Democrat, January 13, 1876. 

»2 The WeeJcly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), July 21, 

83 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 112. A reprint in 1898 of a 
correspondence originally printed in the Bloomfield Bepublican 
in 1876. 

84 The WeeTcly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), September 
8, 1876. 

85 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 112. 

86 The Weekly Iowa State Begister, February 23 and June 29, 

87 T/ie WeeUy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), July 20, 


88 A copy of General Weaver's letter and the reply of Mr. 
Gear are preserved among the Weaver papers. A printed copy 
of General Weaver's letter is to be found in the Weaver Scrap 
Book, p. 135; Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, 
p. 6147; The Begister and Leader (Des Moines), October 30, 

89 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), September 
28, October 5, 12, 19, 1877; Stiles 's Becollections and Sketches 
of Notable Lawyers and Public Men of Early Iowa, pp. 148, 149. 
According to The Begister, Weaver ' ' was to have been Senator 


if the Greenbackers had carried the Legislature. The political 
trouble with the General now is that he has always been one of 
the Was to Have Beens. " 

90 Statement of James B. Weaver, Jr.; Stiles 's Eecollections 
and Sketches of Notable Lawyers and Public Men of Early 
Iowa, p. 148. 

91 The quotations are from a letter from Judge Eobert 
Sloan, dated at Keosauqua, June 19, 1918, and addressed to 
Benj. F. Shambaugh. Judge Sloan first knew Weaver in 1855 
and, in referring to their relations, he describes them as ''per- 
sonal friends for many years, although differing politically in 
later years of his life. I valued his friendship very highly. 
He had many excellent and lovable qualities." 


^^ Daily Press (Iowa City), March 1 and July 2, 1878. 
93 The Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), October 4, 

^^ Daily Press (Iowa City), November 12, 1878; The Weekly 
Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), October 4 and November 
15, 1878. 

95 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), August 23 
and 30, 1878. 

96 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), August 23, 
1878, contains Trimble's letter reprinted from the Ottumwa 
Democrat. It is dated at Bloomfield, July 15, 1878. 

97 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), October 11 
and 18, 1878. See the writer's Third Party Movements Since 
the Civil War, pp. 165, 166. 

^^ The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), December 
20, 1878, January 10 and 17, 1879. 

Q9 Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 1879, pp. 838, 839. A 
letter signed by Weaver for the executive committee of the 
national Greenback Labor party was sent to Democratic and 
Republican members of the House, giving the names of mem- 


bers for whom the independent members of the House of 
Eepresentatives were willing to vote for Speaker just before 
the opening of the session. 

100 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, pp. 3, 5, 
397; McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Govern- 
ment, Vol. I, p. 391. 

101 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, pp. 225— 

Incidentally Weaver referred favorably to a constitutional 
amendment giving the President power *Ho approve a part of 
a bill and veto the rest of it. It is a very nice constitutional 
question, however, whether he has not that power already." 
He also opposed ''the concentration of so much power in the 
hands of the Committee on Appropriations", and favored its 
distribution to various committees. 

102 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 25. 

103 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, pp. 363, 

104 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, p. 1164. 

105 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, pp. 

106 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 26. This account probably 
appeared in the Chicago Sentinel as ''special correspondence" 
from Washington, dated May 11, 1879. This speech was re- 
printed during the 1894 campaign of General Weaver for Con- 
gress in the ninth district. — See the Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 93. 
Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, Index to 
Vol. IX, pp. 6, 8. 

lor Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, p. 1370. 

108 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, p. 1500. 

109 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, p. 1530. 

110 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, p. 2169. 

111 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 46th Congress, pp. 638, 
1088, 2047. 



112 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 22, 
59, 170, 171, 473, Appendix, pp. 279-283, Index, p. 945. 

113 Weaver's A Call to Action, pp. 57-59; the Weaver Scrap 
Boole, p. 29. 

11* Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, p. 1198. 

115 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
1234-1236; the Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 29. 

116 Weaver's A Call to Action, pp. 60, 61. 

117 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
2139-2142. For another reference to these resohitions see the 
Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, p. 1432, and 
for speeches on the same resolutions see iVppendix, pp. 109- 
114 and pp. 117-121 — speeches by E. H. Gillette of Iowa and 
Gilbert De La Matyr of Indiana. 

118 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 22, 
112, 186, 285, 924, 1392, 1563, 1570, 1673, 2526, Index, p. 818. 

119 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
475, 476. 

Weaver was given ten minutes by Buckner of Missouri who 
was in charge of the bill for the committee on banking and 
currency, and at the expiration of that period four minutes 
were added by another member after a motion to give fifteen 
minutes had been refused by Buckner who wanted to dispose 
of the bill that day. 

120 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, Ap- 
pendix, pp. 185-189. 

121 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 724, 
725. Weaver favored increasing the limit from $500 to $2000 
for allowing transfers from State to Federal courts. — See pp. 
846 and 847 of the Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th 

122 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
767, 768, 925, 1641, 1686, 2326, 3248, Index, pp. 6-9. 


123 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
3405, 3406. 


124 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 46th Congress, p. 4227. 

125 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), March 21, 

126 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), August 1, 
September 19, October 10, 1879. See the writer's Third Party 
Movements Since the Civil War, pp. 171-174, 

127 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines) , January 
16, 1880. 

-i-28 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), May 21, 

129 Weaver's A Call to Action, pp. 83-85. 

130 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines) , May 28, 

131 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines) , June 18, 
1880; The Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago), June 9-11, 1880; the 
Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 1-3, 128. 

132 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), August 6, 

133 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 116; McPherson's A Band- 
Book of Politics for 1880, pp. 196-198; The Weekly Iowa State 
Begister (Des Moines), July 9, 1880. 

134 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 6-8 ; The Weekly Iowa State 
Begister (Des Moines), September 3 and 24 and October 22, 

135 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 4, 5; The Weekly loica State 
Begister (Des Moines), October 29, 1880. 

136 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 5; The Weekly Iowa State 
Begister (Des Moines), October 15, 1880; Iowa State Press 
(Iowa City), October 13, 1880. 

137 McPherson's A Band-Book of Politics for 188^, p. 186. 


138 CongressioJial Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 
308, 309. 

^39 The WeeTcly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), Novem- 
ber 19, 1880. 

140 The WeeTcly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), Novem- 
ber 26, 1880. 


141 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, p. 2433. 

142 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 297- 

143 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 328- 

144 The Weelcly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), December 
31, 1880. 

145 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, pp. 386- 
388, 564, 565, 615, 616, 618, 661, 733, 742, 766, 773, 2308, 
2324, 2325. Weaver took part in the debate on January 6, 12, 
13, 15, 18, 19, and March 1, 1881. 

146 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, Index, 
p. 456. See Bryce's American Commonivealth, Vol. I, p. 97. 

147 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, Index, 
pp. 456, 457. 

148 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, p. 280. 
140 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, p. 2181. 

150 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, p. 2090. 

151 Congressional Record, 3rd Session, 46th Congress, p. 2035. 

152 The influence of third parties in an election is always 
difficult to estimate. General Hancock always believed that 
General Weaver's participation in the election cost him the 
presidency in 1880. A few years later General Hancock meet- 
ing him said: **But for you I should just about this time be 
vacating the White House". — The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 118. 



^53 Sioux City Daily Times, September 30, 1881; the Weaver 
Scrap Boole, p. 116. 

154 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 8-11, 34, 116. 

155 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 128. 

156 The WeeHy Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), March 31 
and October 20, 1882; Iowa State Press (Iowa City), March 
29 and August 16, 1882. For comparisons as to votes cast in 
1878 and 1882, see The Weekly Iowa State Eegister (Des 
Moines), December 15, 1882, and Iowa State Press (Iowa 
City), November 12, 1878. 

i«7 The Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), October 30, 1911. 

158 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 22, 147. 

159 The Weelely Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), May 12, 

160 Fairall's Manual of Iowa Politics, Vol. I, Part IV, p. 79; 
The Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), September 5, 1915. 

161 Fairall's Manual of Iowa Politics, Vol. I, Part IV, pp. 

162 Iowa Official Eegister, 1915-1916, p. 542. 

i63Euggles's The Greenhacle Movement in Iowa; Gue's Eis- 
tory of Iowa, Vol. Ill, p. 132; Iowa Official Eegister, 1915- 
1916, p. 541. 

i64McPherson's A Hand-Boole of Politics for 1884, pp. 215- 
218; Ruggles's The Greenlacle Movement in Iowa. 

i85Ruggles's The Greenhacle Movement in Iowa; Iowa State 
Press (Iowa City), July 15, 1885. 

166 Iowa Official Eegister, 1915-1916, p. 542. 

167 Quotation from The Des Moines Leader in the Iowa State 
Press (Iowa City), November 11, 1885. 


168 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 105- 


107, 538; McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American 
Government, Vol. I, p. 392. 

169 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 

170 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
5115, 5116. 

171 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 2417. 

172 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 

173 Weaver had offered such an amendment on the preceding 
day. — Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 

174 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
6926, 6927. 

175 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
7986, 7987. 

176 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 384. 
17T Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 584. 

178 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 5986. 

179 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
5981-5986, 6090-6092. 

180 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 584. 
For petitions see Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Con- 
gress, pp. 1862, 2080, 2573, 3136, 3756, 3860. 

181 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 384. 

182 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 762. 

183 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 2752, 
3514, 4063-4071, 5214-5220. 

184 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 

185 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 2510, 
2511, 3197, 3198, 4550-4558, 8038. 


186 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 5378. 

187 Congressional Record, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
6250, 6251, 6290, 6291. General Weaver and B. W. Perkins of 
Kansas each accused the other of being the paid attorney of 
the interests they defended. Perkins declared in reply to the 
charge of Weaver that he had never ^ ' taxed ' ' the poor settlers 
while ''loafing about the Departments at Washington". 
Weaver retorted: ''I will tell the gentleman what he is: His 
voice is the voice of Jacob, but his hand is the hand of Esau." 
For another reference to the ''Oklahoma boomers" see Con- 
gressional Record, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 2308. 

188 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 7172. 

'^^^ Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 384; 
Commons and Andrews's Principles of Labor Legislation, p. 

190 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 2959, 
3761; Dewey's National Problems, 1885-1897, pp. 42-44. 

191 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 2965, 

192 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 384. 

193 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, Index, 
pp. 629, 630. See Weaver's remarks in the debate over relief 
for Francis W. Haldeman, pp. 4261, 4262. 

194 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, pp. 384, 
4490-4492, 4973, 5321-5325. 

195 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, Index, 
pp. 629, 630. 

196 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 49th Congress, pp. 

197 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 49th Congress, p. 116. 

198 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
192, 225. 

199 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
672, 673. 


200 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 49th Congress, p. 1737. 

201 Congressional Becord, 2nd. Session, 49th Congress, pp. 
2700, 2701. 


202 Iowa Offlcial Begister, 1888, pp. 72-74. 

203 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 6, 
280; McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Govern- 
ment, Vol. I, p. 392. 

204 Dewey's National Frohlems, 1885-1897, pp. 64-73. 

205 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
4258-4261. His list of "trusts" was taken from ''standard 
authorities". He referred "to an article by Henry D. Lloyd 
in the North American Review for June, 1884, and to a recent 
work on ' Trusts ' by William W. Cook, of the New York bar. ' ' 
See also Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
7358, 7359. 

206 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 4773, 
4774, 4783, 5005, 5006. 

207 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
4823, 4824. 

208 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
4972, 4973. Weaver also took part in the debate upon the 
Mills Bill, July 11th and 19th. — See Congressional Becord, Ist 
Session, 50th Congress, pp. 6144-6147, 6536. 

209 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
5429, 5440, 5932. 

210 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, p. 5555. 
In March it appears that Weaver interested himself especially 
in the great coal fields of Pennsylvania, declaring that the 
"large cities, and in fact the whole country, is at the mercy of 
a few coal barons". The words seem almost prophetic in the 
year 1917. — See Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Con- 
gress, pp. 2457, 2458. 


211 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 

212 Congressional Record, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
8508, 8509. 

213 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
8116, 8117, Index, House Bills, p. 442. 

214 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
6740, 8906. 

215 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, Index, 
House Bills, p. 384. 

216 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
2323-2325. In May, 1888, Weaver made an illuminating re- 
mark in regard to political contributions by Federal office- 
holders. — See Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, 
p. 4678. 

217 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, Index, 
p. 782. 

218 Congressional Eecord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
1597-1600. September 17, 1888, he introduced a bill ''to pro- 
hibit the deposit of public moneys in national banks or other 
banks except in certain cases". — See Congressional Eecord, 
1st Session, 50th Congress, p. 8657. 

219 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
606, 629-632, 650, 651, 676-686, 708, 744-751. A concise 
account of the filibuster is given upon pp. 747, 748. There are 
several articles about the filibuster in the Weaver Scrap Boole, 
pp. 22, 25, 140. 

220 Congressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, pp. 
1338-1358, 1363, 1378-1388, 1400-1402, 1501, 2010, 2287; 
McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Government, 
Vol. II, p. 577. 

^21 Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 1889, pp. 675, 676; Con- 
gressional Eecord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, Vol. XX, pp. 
2367-2369, 2399, 2400, 2414, 2724; United Slates Statutes at 
Large, Vol. XXV, p. 1005; The Eegister and Leader (Dea 
Moines), October 30, 1911. 


Congressman Weaver described the action taken in a ''dis- 
patch" from Washington, dated March 4, 1889, as follows: 
' ' The Creek and Seminole cessions are ratified and authority 
given to open them to settlement by proclamation of the Presi- 
dent. We accomplished this on an Indian appropriation bill. 
It was a flank movement on our part and proved successful in 
spite of the cattle men who have control of the Senate ' '. — 
See Iowa Tribune (Des Moines), March 6, 1889. 

222 H. C. Evans in The Yeoman Shield in the Weaver Papers; 
McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Government, 
Vol. II, p. 577. 

223 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, p. 85. 

224 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, Ap- 
pendix, p. 40. 

225 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, p. 2084. 

226 Dewey's National Problems, 188S-1897, pp. 81, 82. 

227 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, pp. 194, 
195; Dewey's National Problems, 1885-1897, p. 82. 

228 Congressional Becord, 2nd Session, 50th Congress, p. 2218. 

229 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 22. 

230 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 115, 140. 


231 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 25; Pammel's Major John F. 
Lacey, p. 5. 

232 Pammel's Major John F. Lacey, pp. 6, 25, 48, 49. 

233 Iowa Official Begister, 1889, p. 195. 

234 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 49th Congress, p. 2966. 

235 Congressional Becord, 1st Session, 50th Congress, p. 6147. 

^^^0 Iowa State Press (Iowa City), June 8 and 15, 1887. 

237 See the writer's Third Party Movements Since the Civil 
War, pp. 195, 196. 


238Ruggles's The Greenback Movement in Iowa; see the 
writer's Third Party Movements Since the Civil War, pp. 196, 

239 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 26; Clark's History of Sena- 
torial Elections in Iowa, p. 212. 

24oRuggles's The Greenback Movement in Iowa; Appleton's 
Annual Cyclopaedia, 1889, p. 450. 

241 Euggles 's The Greenback Movement in Iowa; Iowa Of- 
ficial Register, 1891, pp. 84-87. 

242 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 23. 

243 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 22. 

244 The Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), March 27, 
May 1, 1891. 

2^5 Clinton Weekly Age, May 12, 1891; The Weekly Iowa 
State Register (Des Moines), June 5, 1891; Iowa Official Reg- 
ister, 1892, p. 171. 

246 Clinton Weekly Age, May 22, 1891 ; The Weekly Iowa 
State Register (Des Moines), May 29, 1891; letter from L. L. 
Polk, May 2, 1891, in the Weaver Papers. 

2^7 The Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), Novem- 
ber 20, 1891; Clinton Weekly Age, January 29, 1892; the 
Weaver Scrap Book, p. 39. 

2^8 Clinton Weekly Age, February 26, 1892; The Weekly 
Iowa State Register (Des Moines), October 15, 1880, March 4, 
1892; the Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 32, 38, 100, 101; letter from 
L. L. Polk, May 2, 1891, in the Weaver Papers. 


249 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 39. 

250 The Weller Papers in the library of the State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin*. 

251 The Revieiv of Reviews, Vol. V, pp. 391, 392 ; The Arena, 
Vol. V, pp. 427-435. 



252 The WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), June 10, 

253 The WeeUy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), June 17, 

254 The WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), July 8, 
1892 ; the St. Paul Glohe, July 2 and 5, 1892, in Personal Scrap 
BooTc in the Donnelly Collection in the library of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, Vol. XIII. 

255 The New YorTc Times, July 6, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap 
BooTc, p. 89. 

256 Clinton WeeMy Age, July 8, 1892 ; BrooMyn Eagle, July 
5, 1892, in the Weaver Scrap BooJc, p. 111. 

257 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 49. 

258 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 88 ; Clinton WeeTcly Age, 
July 12, 1892; TTie WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), 
July 29, 1892. 

259 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 50. 

260 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 41, 44, 52, 53, 58-70, 84, 
87. There is a statement about Mrs. Lease in Weaver's own 
handwriting in the Weaver Papers. 

261 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 44, 80. James Harvey Davis 
was member-at-large from Texas in the Sixty-fourth Congress, 
and was defeated for renomination in July, 1916, because the 
name ' ' Cyclone ' ' was not allowed on the ballot. — See The 
Nation, Vol. CII, p. 435, and The CTiicago Tribune, August 13, 

2Q2 The WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), Septem- 
ber 30, 1892. 

263 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 19, 43, 59, 95, 97; TTie 
WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), September 30, 1892. 

264 Quoted from the CTiicago Inter Ocean, September 25, 
1892, in The WeeMy Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), Sep- 
tember 30, 1892. 

265 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 14. 


266 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 11, 14, 36, 44, 50, 76, 85, 
99, 113, 165. See Chapter IV of this volume for a discussion 
of this episode in Weaver's military record. 

267 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 14. 

268 Statement by J. B. Weaver, Jr. ; letter from Albion W. 
Tourgee, October 19, 1892, in the Weaver Papers. 

269 Weaver's A Call to Action, pp. 5-7; the Weaver Scrap 
Boole, p. 65; Iowa Tribune (Des Moines), April 1, 1891. 

27oDodd's The Social and Economic Baclcground of Woodrow 
Wilson in The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. XXV, pp. 

^TL Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia, 1892, pp. 755, 756; Mc- 
Pherson's A Band-Booh of Politics for 1894, p. 272; McLaugh- 
lin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Government, Vol. Ill, 
pp. 38, 39; The WeeUy Iowa State Register (Des Moines), 
August 19, 1892. 

272 Letter from A. M. West, September 11, 1892, in the 
Weaver Papers. 

273 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 41, 103 ; The Weelely Iowa 
State Eegister (Des Moines), November 18, 1892. 

274 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 19 ; Clinton Weelely Age, 
November 18, 1892. 

275 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 72. 

276 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 39. 

^^T The Weelely Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines), Decem- 
ber 2, 1892. 


278 Clinton Weelely Age, December 16, 1892. 

279 The Weelely Iowa State Eegister (Des Moines) , February 
3, 1893. 

280 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 73. 

281 The Weaver Scrap Bool', pp. 76, 103. 


282 The WeeMy Iowa State Register (Des Moines), March 3, 
July 14, and August 4, 1893; Clinton WeeMy Age, October 6, 

283 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 111. 

^8'i The WeeTcly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), Septem- 
ber 8, 1893. 

285 Jowa Official Register, 1894, pp. 106, 107. 

286 The WeeTcly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), May 4, 
11, 1894; Clinton WeeTcly Age, May 4, 1894. 

287 Weaver's The Commonweal Crusade in The Midland 
Montlily, Vol. I, pp. 590-594. 

288 The phrase ' ' middle-of-the-road ' ' was used to describe 
those Populists "who voted for Watson and were in favor of 
maintaining their own organization without alliance or fusion 
with any other party". McKee in his National Conventions 
and Platforms of All Political Parties 1789 to 1900 states that 
it is 'Haken from the adjuration of Milton Park, of Texas, 
who led the bolt, to 'Keep in the middle of the road' " at the 
Populist convention in St. Louis in 1896. It was used at least 
as early as 1892 as is shown by the following campaign verses 
printed in the RocTcy Mountain News of Denver: 

Side tracks are rough, and they're hard to walk. 

Keep in the middle of the road; 
Though we haven't got time to stop and talk 

We keep in the middle of the road. 
Turn your backs on the goldbug men, 
And yell for silver now and then; 
If you want to beat Grover, also Ben, 

Just stick to the middle of the road. 

Don't answer the call of goldbug tools. 

But keep in the middle of the road; 
Prove that the West wasn't settled by fools, 

And keep in the middle of the road. 
They've woven their plots, and woven them ill, 


We want a Weaver who's got more skill, 
And mostly we want a Silver Bill, 

So we'll stay in the middle of the road. 

— See McLaughlin and Hart's Cyclopedia of American Gov- 
ernment, Vol. II, p. 757; McKee's The National Conventions 
and Platforms of All Political Parties 1789 to 1900, pp. 353, 
354; the Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 52, 86 — clippings from 
Boclcy Mountain News, July 17, 1892. 

289 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), Septem- 
ber 7, 1894. 

290 In July, 1894, Weaver resigned as editor of The Iowa 
Farmers' Tribune, published at Des Moines (with which he 
had been connected since its establishment in 1878) because of 
his nomination for Congress and his '^ purpose" to remove to 
Council Bluffs. — See The Iowa Farmers' Tribune (Des Moines), 
July 25, 1894. 

2Q1 Iowa Official Begister, 1895, pp. 186-190. 

292 The Daily Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), August 9, 

293 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 16, 17, 37, 76, 79, 85, 91, 117. 

294 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 33, 36; Iowa Official Begis- 
ter, 1895, p. 190; The Beview of Beviews, Vol. X, p. 624; 
letters from Samuel Gompers, September 28, 1894, and Eugene 
V. Debs, October 23, 1894, in the Weaver Papers. 

295 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 36. 

296McVey's The Populist Movement in Economic Studies, 
Vol. I, p. 197. 

297 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), May 17, 
June 7, 14, 1895; Clinton Weekly Age, March 1, 1895. 

298 The Weekly Iowa State Begister (Des Moines), June 14 
and August 2, 1895. 

299 Clinton Weekly Age, August 9, 1895 ; The Weekly Iowa 
State Begister (Des Moines), August 9, 1895. 

300 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 34. 


301 The Weaver Scrap Boole, pp. 102, 143. 

302 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 27, 30. 

303 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 37. 

soiThe Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), April 24, 

305 The Eeview of Reviews, Vol. XIV, p. 265 ; The Weekly 
Iowa State Register (Des Moines), July 24 and 31, 1896; 
Clinton WeeMy Age, July 21 and 24, 1896. 

806 Bryan's The First Battle, pp. 276-279; Bryan's A Story 
of the Campaign of 1896 was dedicated to 'Hhe Three Pio- 
neers", B. P. Bland, J. B. Weaver, and H. M. Teller. In the 
Weaver Tapers there are letters from Bryan, dated December 
5 and 10, 1896, asking for a copy of the nominating speech 
and for permission to use Weaver's name in the dedication. 
When he returned the speech of which he had made a copy he 
added: 'Tor directness, logic, strength & diction it can 
hardly be surpassed. I am glad to have it in my book." 

^07 The Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), August 
14, 1896. 

308 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 18; The Weekly Iowa State 
Register (Des Moines), August 21, 1896. 


309 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 18, 27, 34, 35. 

310 jjFie Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), August 
5, 1898; the Weaver Scrap Book, p. 31; Iowa Official Register, 
1899, p. 232. 

311 The Weaver Papers. 

312 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 110. 

313 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 85. 

814 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 112. 

315 Letter from J. H. Edmisten, dated January 10, 1900, in 
the Weaver Papers. The Weller Papers, in the library of the 


State Historical Society of Wisconsin, contain a printed ad- 
dress to the People's party and independent voters of the 
United States, giving an account of the controversies between 
the two factions and chiefly devoted to the meeting at Lincoln. 

316 Letters from S. B. Crane, dated March 12, 1900, from 
Marion Butler, dated April 30, 1900, and from Geo. H. Shibley, 
dated May 2, 1900, in the Weaver Papers. 

3i7McKee's The National Conventions and Platforms of All 
Political Parties 1789 to 1900, pp. 347-355; McLaughlin and 
Hart's Cyclopedia of American Government, Vol. II, pp. 757, 


318 Letter from Geo. S. Canfield, May 16, 1900, in the Weaver 

319 Letter from T. M. Patterson, May 22, 1900, in the Weaver 

320 Letter from E. H. Gillette, June 28, 1900, in the Weaver 

32iMcKee's The National Conventions and Platforms of All 
Political Parties 1789 to 1900, pj). 330, 331. 

322 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 112. 

323 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 104. 

324 T7te Weekly Iowa State Register (Des Moines), May 6, 
1904; letter from W. W. Baldwin, May 6, 1904, in the Weaver 
Papers; the Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 38, 139. 

325 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, pp. 46, 70, 114; letter from 
Daniel McComille, chairman of the speakers' bureau of Demo- 
cratic national committee, October 21, 1904, and letter from 
John W. Kern, November 14, 1904, in the Weaver Papers. 

326 The Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 96 ; letters from M. J. Wade, 
John E. Clark, Leonard Brown, and A. Q. Wooster in the 
Weaver Papers. 

327 Letter from John W. Kern, February 20, 1909, in the 
Weaver Papers. 


328 Letter from E. H. Gillette, June 8, 1908, in the Weaver 

329 The Sioux City Trilune, August 23, 1911. 

330 The Salt LaTce Tribune, September 10, 1911. 

331 Letters from A. Van Wagenen, dated November 2, 6, and 
8, 1911, in the Weaver Papers. 

332 Letters from W. D. Jamieson, dated December 29, 1911, 
January 15 and 19, 1912, in the Weaver Papers. 

333 The Weaver Scrap Book, p. 154. 


334 Letter from H. C. Evans, February 23, 1903, in the 
Weaver Papers; the Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 112. 

335 The Weaver Scrap Book, pp. 152, 153. 

336 Harlan's Honors for General Weaver in The Midwestern, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 60-62 (March, 1909) ; Journal of the House of 
Representatives, 1909, p. 190; The Eegister and Leader (Des 
Moines), February 14 and 16, 1909; a typewritten report of 
the Ceremony of the Historical Department of Iowa on Install- 
ing a Portrait by Charles A. Cumming, of General James B. 
Weaver in the chamber of the House of Representatives, 
Capitol, February 15, 1909. 

337 The Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), February 14 and 
16, 1909; the Weaver Scrap BooTc, p. 154. 

338 Pioneer Lawmakers ' Association, 1909, pp. 72, 73. 

339 Letters of Friends of General James B. Weaver Express- 
ing Views on his Life and Character and on the Placing of his 
Portrait in the Gallery of The Historical Department of Iowa, 
February, 1909. 


340 The Register and Leader (Des Moines), February 7, 1912. 

341 The Register and Leader (Des Moines), February 9, 1912; 
a typewritten report of the Funeral Services of General James 


B. Weaver in the Weaver Papers; Des Moines News, February 
7, 1912; Pioneer Lawmakers' Association, 1913, pp. 90-93. 

342 The Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), February 8, 1912; 
Des Moines Neivs, February 7, 1912. 

343 The Weaver Scrap Boole, p. 161. 

344 The Register and Leader (Des Moines), February 8, 1912, 

345 The Weaver Scrap Booh, p. 161. 

346 The Sioux City Tribune, February 7, 1912 ; other news- 
paper estimates reprinted in the Pioneer Lawmakers' Associ- 
ation, 1913, pp. 87-90. 

347 Congressional Record, 2nd Session, 62nd Congress, p. 1840. 

348 A typewritten report of the Dedication of Weaver Parle, 
at Bloomfield, Iowa, August 18, 1915, in the Weaver Papers; 
The Eegister and Leader (Des Moines), July 26 and August 18 
and 20, 1915. 

349 The Des Moines Capital, February 16, 1912. 

350 Statement from James B. Weaver, Jr. The quotation, he 
says, is from the Persian poet Hafiz. 




Adjournment, Weaver's speech 
against, 151-153 

Agency City, waving of the "bloody 
shirt" at, 24, 25 

Agriculture, demand for a depart- 
ment of, 197, 248, 439 

Alabama, Weaver's campaign in, 
167; fusion in, favored by 
Weaver, 172; vote for Weaver 
in, 336, 337 

Alaska, gold supply from, 154 

Albia, 208, 209 

Aldrich, Charles, portrait collec- 
tion begun by, 409, 410 

Allen, William V., Bryan support- 
ed by, 375, 377; mention of, 

AUis, Edward P., nomination of, 
for President, suggested, 160 ; 
vote for, in convention, 161 

Allison, William B., Weaver op- 
posed by, 360; expiration of 
term of, 366 

American Bi-metallic League, 
work of, 348 

Anderson, Albert R., debate over 
endorsement of, 297 

Apache Indians, reservation of, 

Appanoose County, 68 ; Weaver's 
reply to citizens of, 89 

Appropriations, Committee on. 
Weaver opposed to power ofj 

Aguinaldo, Emilio, insurrection 
under, 386 

Arapaho Indians, reservation of, 

Arena, article by Weaver in, 312 

Arizona, speeches of Weaver in, 
346, 347 

Arkansas, campaign of Weaver in, 
167. 322. 323 

Arkansas City (Arkansas), 277 

Arthur, Chester A., information 
received from, 169 

Assessor of internal revenue, ap- 
pointment of Weaver as, 68 

Atlanta (Georgia), campaign 
aeainst, 49, 50; rowdvism at, 

Baker, James, troops commanded 

by, 26, 32, 34, 39; escape of, 
37; commission of, as colonel, 
45; death of, 48 

Baldwin, Caleb, position of, as 
postmaster, 9 

Baldwin, W. W., letter to Weaver 
from, 397, 398; tribute of, to 
Weaver, 419, 420 

Ballard, S. M., Kirkwood nomi- 
nated by, 75, 76, 77; telegram 
signed by, 91 

Ballentine, Mrs., Weaver at home 
of, 54, 58 

Ballentine, A. J., defense of 
Weaver by, 57, 58 

Banks, opposition to control of fi- 
nance by, 133, 141, 142, 154; 
Weaver's views upon, 166 (see 
also National banks) 

Barbed wire, debate over duties 
on, 265 

Barker, Wharton, nomination of, 
for President, 392 

Barnett, James H., nomination of, 
302, 303 

Bayard, Thomas F., leadership of, 
i76; reference to, 187 

Bears, hunting of, 12 

Beauregard, P. G. T., troops com- 
manded by, 38: retreat of, 43 

Beck, James B., 187 

Beebe (Arkansas), Weaver at, 
322, 323 

Belknap, 3 

Belmont. August, 187 

Bentonville (South Carolina), bat- 
tle at, 50 

Big Cedar Creek, crossing of, 9 

Bird's Point (Missouri), 28 

Blaine, James G., majority of, in 
Iowa. 215 

Black Hawk Purchase, boundary 
of, 2 

Bland, Richard P., discussion by, 
183 : replv of Weaver to insin- 
uations of, 190; use of silver 
urged by. 230; free silver party 
favored by. 366; volume dedi- 
cated to, 470 

Bland Act, 223, 224 

"Bloodv shirt", origin of term, 24, 
25. 448 

Bloomfield, 3, 5, 162; mail route 




to, 8 ; law practice of Weaver 
at. 16; debate at, 21; trip from, 
25; company organized at, 26; 
return of Weaver to, 50 ; fear 
of raid at, 60 ; speech of Weav- 
er at, 91; Weaver Park estab- 
lished at, 435, 436, 437, 438, 
439, 440 

Bloomfield Democrat, nomination 
of Sampson denounced by, 72, 
73 ; opposition of, to prohibi- 
tion, 82 ; Republican convention 
criticised by, 84, 85 ; comment 
bv. on defeat of Weaver for 
State Senator, 85, 86 

Boers, 387; sympathy expressed 
for, 391 

Boies, Horace, election of, 300; 
nomination of, as presidential 
elector, 381; reference to. 382 

Bonaparte, Weaver as clerk at, 13, 
14 ; debate at, 18 ; mention of, 

Bonds, proposed issue of, 114, 
115; permanence of, 121; inter- 
est on, 124 ; proposal to cancel, 
146 ; discussion over payment 
of, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 
184, 185, 186, 196, 260; me- 
dium of payment of, 205; bill 
relative to purchase of, 272 

"Boomers" (see "Oklahoma boom- 
ers" ) 

Boston (Massachusetts), 201, 202 

Bounties, delay in payment of, 

Bowman, S. Z., inquiry by, 193 

Brandt, Isaac, tribute to Weaver 
described by, 414, 415 

Brigham, Johnson, tribute of, to 
Weaver, 423 

Brotherhood, Weaver's address on, 
413, 414 

Browne, Thomas M., inquiry re- 
guested by, 193 

Bryan, Charles W., message of 
sympathv from, 429 

Bryan. William J., 102, 406; 
work of. 211; speech b^- 348, 
381, 382; nomination of, by 
Democrats, 373, 374, 395, 400, 
401; nomination of, bv Popu- 
lists, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 
380, 381, 392, 400, 401; sup- 
port of, urged by Weaver, 384, 
385 ; Towne's nomination ap- 
proved by, 393. 394; Weaver 
accepts leadership of, 396; 
speech of, at presentation of 
Weaver portrait, 412, 413, 414; 
tribute to Weaver by, 415, 429, 
430; address by, at dedication 

of Weaver Park, 436, 437, 438, 
439, 440 

Buchanan, James, assistance of, 
in Iowa, 156 

Buckner, A. H., time given to 
Weaver by, 456 

Buckner, Simon B., 30 

Buell, D. C, aid brought to Union 
forces by, 38, 39, 41; troops 
commanded by, 43 

Burlington, 26 

Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, 
comment in, 66, 67, 68; ac- 
count in, of speech by Weaver, 
69; defense of Weaver by, 87 

Butler, Benjamin F., nomination 
of, for President, suggested, 
153, 160; vote for, in conven- 
tion, 161; eulogy of, 198, 199; 
nomination of, for President, 
215, 216 

Butler, Marion, 389, 390, 391 

Butte (Montana). Weaver at, 321 

Byers, H. W., 411; toast by, 413 

Caine, M. J., nomination of, for 
Governor, 296 ; presence of, at 
National Union Labor conven- 
tion, 297 

Caldwell, Judge, 369 

Caldwell, H. Clay, approval of 
Weaver's speech by, 19, 20 

California, journey of Weaver to, 
11, 12, 13, 447; free speech 
prohibited in, 147; Weaver's 
campaign in, 319, 320- vote 
for Weaver in, 338 

Call to Action, A, extracts from. 
331, 332. 333: comment on, 334 

Campbell, Alexander, vote for, in 
convention. 161 

Campbell, Daniel, choice of, as 
delegate to national convention, 

Campbell, Frank T., Weaver nom- 
inated for Governor bv 75; 
election contested bv, 218 

Canfield, George S.. letter to 
Weaver from, 392, 393 

Cannon, Joseph G., 249 

Cannon, bill to donate, 272 

Capitol, collection of portraits in, 

Carlisle, John G., election of, as 
Sneakor, 218, 258; reference to, 

Carpenter, Cyrus C, supplies paid 
for by, 53. 54 

Carr. E. M., election of, as dele- 
gate. 398 

Carroll. B. F.. 412. 436; toast bv. 
413; tribute of. to Weaver, 418 

Cases, transfer of, 456 



Cass, Lewis, vote of Iowa for, 17 

Cass County (Michigan), Weaver 
family in, 2 

Cassopolis (Michigan), 2 

Cattle men, opposition of, to open- 
ing of Oklahoma, 279; defeat 
of, 464 

Cattle syndicates, use of public 
land by, 236, 237, 238, 241 

Cedar Rapids, convention at, 258 

"Center, Party of the", 151 

Chambers, B. J., nomination of, 
for Vice President, 161 

Charleston (Missouri), expedition 
to, 33 

Chase, Solon, assistance of, in 
Iowa, 156; vote for, in conven- 
tion, 161 

Chattanooga (Tennessee), 37 

Chequest Creek, 3 

Cherokee Indians, 234; lands 
leased by, 236; lands ceded by, 

Chevenne (Wyoming), Weaver at, 
321, 322 

Chevenne Indians, reservation of, 

Chicago (Illinois), meeting of na- 
tional Greenback convention at, 
158, 215; proposal to establish 
military site near, 254, 256, 
257; reform conference at, 307; 
silver meeting at, 348 

Chicago Tribune, interview with 
Weaver published in, 175, 176 

Child labor, Weaver opposed, 439 

Chinese, importation of, prohib- 
ited, 164 

Chittenden, Simeon B., Soldier 
Bill opposed by, 142 

Cincinnati (Ohio), fort at, 1, 2; 
conference at, 306, 307; con- 
vention of Populists at, 391, 392 

Cincinnati Inquirer, article in, 
329, 330 

Cincinnati Law School, attend- 
ance of Weaver at, 14, 15 

Civil War, activities of Weaver 
in, 26-65 

Clark, Champ, Weaver in favor 
of nomination of, 403, 404, 
405 ; defeat of, 406 ; message 
of sympathy from, 429 • 

Clarke, George W., 436 

Clarke, Sidney, settlers represent- 
ed by, 238 

Clarkson, James S., comment by, 
on defeat of Weaver in 1875, 
77, 78, 79: reference to, 410; 
tribute to Weaver by, 417, 418 

Cleveland, Grover, election of, 
211; reference to, 237; mes- 
sage of, concerning strike on 

railways, 245 ; annual message 
of, 259 ; Oklahoma bill signed 
by, 276; settlers removed by 
order of, 278; bill to refund 
direct tax vetoed by, 285 ; tariff 
policy of, 287; Weaver consult- 
ed by, 289; reelection of, 307; 
fear of. election of, 330; oppo- 
sition to, 384 

Clinton Age, comment by, on 
Weaver's nomination, 315, 316; 
Weaver's election as Senator 
predicted by, 345 

Coal lands, disposition of, 267; 
reservation of, 287 

Cohrt, Edward, 425, 436 

Cohrt, Mrs. Esther, 408, 436 

Cole, C. C, speech of, in honor of 
Weaver, 317 

Colfax, Weaver elected mayor of, 
407; reception to Weaver at, 
407, 408, 409 

Colorado, Weaver's campaign in, 
319; vote of, for Weaver, 335, 
336, 337 

Columbia (South Carolina), bat- 
tle at, 50 

Comanche Indians, reservation of, 

Commoner, tribute to Weaver in, 
429, 430 

Commonwealth Crusade, The, 354, 

Communists, fear of, 256 

Conger, O. D., suggestion bv, 193, 

Congress, election of Weaver to, 
101-103, 258; activities of 
Weaver in, 107-129, 218-289; 
Weaver's leave of absence from, 
155 (see also House of Repre- 

Connecticut, area of, 234; speech- 
es of Weaver in, 347 

Conservation, demand for, 334 

Conspiracy and the Re-action, The, 

Constitution of the United States, 
resolution to amend, 358 

Convict labor, hostility of Weaver 
to, 288 

Cook, William W., book by, 462 

Cooper, Peter, vote for, in 1876, 

Cooper Institute, Weaver invited 
to speak at, 114 

Cooper Union, speech of Weaver 
at, 167, 347 

Copperheads, opposition of, to Civ- 
il War, 59 

Corinth (Mississippi), 37; Con- 
federates at, 38; advance to- 
ward, 43; battle at, 46, 286 



Corporations, opposition of, to 
Weaver, 74 ; attitude of Weaver 
toward, 148, 149, 150, 153; 
donations of land to, 164; pub- 
lic lands occupied by, 255; 
claims of, to public lands, 266, 
267; protest against, 317 

Couch, W. L., raids organized by, 
278; speech by, 279; election 
of, as mayor, 280 

Council Bluffs, railway to, pro- 
posed, 196, 197; Congressional 
convention at, 359, 360 

Courts, removal of cases from 
State to United States, 128 

Coxey army, 353 

Crandall, Lee, presence of, at a 
conference, 168 

Crane, S. B., letter to Weaver 
from, 390 

Crane, Susan Ross, marriage of, 
to Henry Weaver, 1 

Creek Indians, land ceded bv. 234, 
275, 464 

Crisp, Charles F., 249 

"Cross of Gold", 348 

Cullom Bill, 249 

Cumming, Charles A., portrait of 
Weaver painted by, 411 

Cummins, A. B., tribute of, to 
Weaver, 418 

Currencv, opinions of Weaver on, 
110-129, 133, 135, 139, 140, 
141, 143, 144, 162, 163, 166, 
205, 229, 246, 247, 272, 273, 
287; speech of Weaver in re- 
gard to, 221-227; bill relative 
to, 271; need of elastic, 334; 
need of sufficient, urged by 
Weaver, 439 (see also Finance) 

Currier. Amos N., attendance of. 
at Chicago convention, 23 

Curtis, Samuel R., military opera- 
tions of, 27, 28; promotion of, 

Cutts, Marcellus E., debate of, 
with Weaver, 95, 96, 97, 98: 
election of, to Congress, 207: 
death of, 207 

Daniels, Edward, presence of, at a 
conference, 168 

Danvers (Massachusetts), 201 

Davenport, reception for Second 
Iowa at, 51 

Davis, David, attendance of, at 
conference, 158. 159 

Davis, James Harvey, speech bv. 
323; reference to, 389; nick- 
name of. 466 

Davis. Jefferson, 187 

D.ivi.s County, boundarv of, 3: 
Free Soilers in, 19; selection of 

Weaver as delegate from, 23; 
raid in, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63; in- 
fluence of Weaver in, 66; Re- 
publican majority in, 67, 68: 
defeat of Weaver in, for State 
Senator, 85, 86, 87 

Davis County Chautauqua Asso- 
ciation, park dedicated by, 435 

Dayton (Ohio), 2 

De Armand, J. A., toast by, 413 

Debs, Eugene V., Weaver sup- 
ported by, 361 

Debt, demand for limitation of, 
112, 113; owners of, 120, 121; 
desire to make permanent. 121; 
opposition to refunding of, 133, 
273; Greenback party opposed 
to repudiation of, 138, 139; 
interest on, 140 ; bill to refund, 
144, 145, 146; Weaver's plan 
for payment of, 146 ; payment 
of, advocated, 163 ; injustice of, 
204; payment of, favored by 
Weaver, 287 

Deemer, H. E., portrait accepted 
by, 412 

De La Matyr, Gilbert, bill intro- 
duced by, 116, 117; assistance 
of, in Iowa, 156; Butler sup- 
ported by. 158; speeches bv, 456 

Delaware, area of, 234 

Democratic national convention, 
394, 395, 397, 398 

Democratic party, withdrawal of 
Weaver from, 19 ; weakness of, 
66; hope for success of, 101; 
fusion of, with Greenbackers, 
102, 103, 104, 107; strength 
of, in Congress, 107, 108, 218, 
258; hopes of, 156; charges 
that Weaver discriminated 
against, 168; statement con- 
cerning, 171; estimate of 175, 
176, 186. 187; platform of, in 
1880, 188; attitude of, toward 
Greenbackers, 199, 200; fusion 
of, with Greenbackers, 207, 
210, 211, 215, 216, 258, 312, 
344, 345, 346, 359, 360, 366, 
370, 381, 388, 389; debate by 
candidate of, 212; increase in 
vote of, 214; affiliation of Weav- 
er with, 295 ; Weaver declines 
nomination by, 301, 302; vote 
of, in 1892, 335; refusal of. to 
fuse with Populists, 335, 336; 
influence of, in South, 336, 
337; explanation of defeat of, 
in 1894, 362, 363: State con- 
vention of, 367: Weaver be- 
comes member of, 396, 397; 
platform of, in 1904, 399 

Denny, Mrs. Ruth, 408, 436 



Deserters, outrages committed by, 

Des Moines, convention at, 23, 75, 
299, 300, 301, 351, 356, 374; 
debate at, 97; Greenback con- 
ference at, 107; reception to 
Weaver at, 316, 317; Kelly's 
army in, 353, 354; conference 
of free silver advocates at, 365 

Des Moines Leader, The, tribute 
of, to Weaver, 217; letter of 
Weaver to, 386, 387 

Des Moines River, crossing of, 9, 

Detroit (Michigan), interview 
with Weaver at, 348-351 

Detroit Free Press, interview with 
Weaver published by, 348-351 

Dillaye, Stephen D., vote for, in 
convention, 161 

Dillon, John F., attendance of, at 
Chicago convention, 23 

Dingley, Nelson, 249 

Direct tax, proposal to refund, 
283, 284, 285 

Disloyalty, outbreaks of, in Iowa, 

District attorney, election of 
Weaver as, 68 

Dodd, William, farm of. 3 

Dodge, Augustus Caesar, cam- 
paign of, for Governor, 20, 21 

Dodge, Grenville M., troops com- 
manded by, 49 ; order for sup- 
plies issued by, 53, 54, 55, 56; 
defense of Weaver by, 55, 56; 
refusal of, to run for Governor, 
74; reference to, 410 

Does Jesus Care, singing of, at 
Weaver's funeral, 425 

Dogs, fear of, 6 

Dolliver, Jonathan P., Weaver op- 
posed by, 360 

Dominion Cattle Company of Can- 
ada, lands leased by, 236 

Donnell, John A., defeat of, for 
Congress, 258 

Donnelly, Ignatius, 307; nomina- 
tion of, for Vice President, 392 

Douglas, Stephen A., 187 

Dred Scott decision, debate over, 

Duckworth, John A., capture of 
Fort Donelson described by, 36, 

Duffield, John M., account by, of 
Weaver's promotion, 45, 46, 47, 

Edmisten, J. H., letter to Weaver 

from, 389 
Eight hour labor law. Weaver in 

favor of, 439 


Elections, debate on use of troops 
at, 108, 109 ; minority report 
on, 139, 140, 197 

Elections, Committee on. Weaver 
appointed member of, 108 ; mi- 
nority report from, 139, 140, 

Elizabethtown (New Jersey), 1 

Ely's Ford. 2 

England, demonetization of silver 
in, 120 

English, participation of, in elec- 
tion, 291 

English sparrows, incident con- 
cerning, 292 

Entailed estates, prohibition of, 

Equal suffrage, demand for, 352 
(see also Woman suffrage) 

Evans, F. V., song by, 425 

Evans, H. C, letter to Weaver 
from, 407; death of Weaver at 
home of, 424 ; reference to, 425, 

Evans, Mrs. Susan, 408. 436 

Ewing, Thomas, 137, 187, 188 

Expenditures in the Treasury De- 
partment, Committee on. Weav- 
er appointed to, 108 

Fairfield. W. B., 74; nomination 
of, for Governor, 75, 76 

Fairfield, mail route to, 8 ; post- 
master at. 9 

Faneuil Hall, speech of Weaver 
in, 167 

Farmers' Alliance, delegates from, 
300: candidate of, 305 (see also 
Southern Alliance and South- 
ern Farmers' Alliance) 

Farmers' Tribuve, letter in, 371 

Farming, unprofitableness of. 305 

Farms, increase in size of, 243, 

Federal Reserve Act, currency con- 
trolled by, 154; need of, 334 

Field, James G., nomination of, 
for Vice President, 314; refer- 
ence to, 323 

Fifer. Orien W., tribute to Weaver 
by, 426. 427 

Fiftieth Congress, activities of 
Weaver in, 258-289 

Fifty-second Indiana Infantry, as- 
sault by, 31, 35 

Filibuster, part of Weaver in, 278, 
274, 275, 463 

Finance, opinions of Weaver on, 
110-129, 133, 135, 138, 164, 
165, 166. 229, 246, 247, 287; 
interest of Weaver in questions 
of, 140, 143, 144; Weaver's 
speech on, 221-227; bills rela- 



tive to, 271 (see also Currency 
and Debt) 

Fisher, H. G., debate by, 116, 117 

Florida, Weaver's campaign in, 

Floyd, John B., 30 

Fort Donelson (Tennessee), cap- 
ture of, 29-37: mention of, 61, 

Fort Henry (Tennessee), capture 
of, 29 

Fort Jefferson (Kentucky), 28 

Fort Worth (Texas), attack on 
abolitionist at, 24 

Forty-sixth Congress, Weaver's 
record in, 107-154, 179-200 

Forty-ninth Congress, activities of 
Weaver in, 218-257 

Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, assault 
bv, 31, 35; reference to, 39, 40, 

Fractional paper currency, pro- 
posal to redeem, 114, 115, 146; 
bill to provide for issuing of, 
128; demand for, 229 

France, per capita money of, 143 

Frederick, B. T., nomination of, 
suggested, 296 

Free Soil party. Weaver's affilia- 
tion with, 18, 19 

Free trade, 291 

Fremont, John C., vote of Iowa 
for, 17 

Fremont County, outrages in, 59 

French Revolution, comparison of 
the United States with France 
at the time of, 341 

Fresno (California), Weaver at, 

Fugitive Slave Law, debate of 
Kirkwood and Dodge over, 21, 

Funding Act, history of, 176, 179, 
180, 181, 182, 184, 185, 196, 

Funding Bill, opposition of Weav- 
er to, 152 

Funston, E. H., debate of Weaver 
with, 265 

Fusion, 102, 103, 104, 107, 172, 
207, 210, 211, 215, 216, 217, 
258, 312, 335, 336, 344, 345, 
346, 359, 360, 366, 370, 381, 
384, 385, 388, 389 

Game, abundance of, 4 

Garfield, James A., vote for, as 
Speaker, 108; speech of, 115; 
reference to, 124, 136, 137; 
comment bv, on Weaver's reso- 
lutions, 137, 138 

Garst, Warren, toast by, 413 ; 
tribute of, to Weaver, 418 

Gear, John H., 74, 88 ; nomina- 
tion of, for Governor, 75, 91, 
92; Weaver defeated by, 88; 
Weaver withdraws support 
from, 93 ; second election of, as 
Governor, 156 

General Assembly, committee sent 
to battlefield by, 33 

Georgia, campaign of Weaver in, 
167; direct tax paid by, 284; 
Weaver's campaign in, aban- 
doned, 324; vote for Weaver 
in, 336, 338 

Germany, funded debt owned in, 
120; reference to, 164; possi- 
bility of canal construction bv, 

Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), battle 
of. 142 

Giant Fallen, A, 429 

Giles County (Tennessee), 55 

Gillette, E. H., election of, to Con- 
gress, 103, 106; criticism of, 
106 ; attendance of, at confer- 
ence, 158, 159; choice of, as 
delegate to national convention, 
159; Weaver nominated by, 
160: letter to, 170, 171; defeat 
of, for Congress, 206 ; attend- 
ance of, at convention, 215; 
fusion with Democrats favored 
by, 296: third party led by. 
297; advice of Weaver asked 
by, 394, 395; Weaver advised 
by, 401, 402; speeches b^- 456 

Gillette, Mrs. E. H., statement by. 

Gold, effect of silver unon circu- 
lation of, 116; deficiency of, 
118, 119, 154: relative value 
of silver and, 128 

Golden wedding, celebration of, 
407, 408. 409 

Goldsboro (North Carolina), Sec- 
ond Iowa at, 51 

Gompers, Samuel, Weaver sup- 
ported by, 361 

Good Hope. Cape of. 281 

Governor, Weaver's candidacy for 
office of, 74 

Grand Army of the Republic, res- 
olutions on Philippine policy 
adopted bv, 388 

Granges, delegates from, 300 

Grant, Ulvsses S., capture of Fort 
Donelson by, 29-37: opinion of. 
37; troops commanded bv. 38. 
43 : campaign of, against Vicks- 
burg. 49 

Gray. Captain, 60 

Greeley. Horace, 132 

Green River, fear of Indians near, 
11, 12 



Greenback Labor party, message 
of committee from, 161, 162 ; 
land resolution adopted by, 164; 
vote of, 173, 174; address to, 
177, 178; attitude of, toward 
Democrats, 210; Weaver a rep- 
resentative of, 454 

Greenback party, nomination of, 
refused by Weaver, 91; Weaver 
becomes member of, 95 ; fusion 
of, with Democrats, 102, 103, 
104, 107, 210, 211, 215, 216, 
258; strength of, in Congress, 
107, 108; importance of, 112; 
opposition to, in Congress. 121, 
122, 127; political conditions 
favorable to, 155, 156 ; national 
convention of, 155, 159, 160 
215; State convention of, 157 
conference of members of, 157 
158, 159, 174, 175, 176, 177 
nomination of Weaver by, for 
President, 160, 161, 162; 
charges against, 167, 168; esti 
mate of, 175, 176, 177, 178 
185; principles of, 188, 202 
203, 204, 205; loss of power 
of, 199, 214; Weaver leader of 
248, 249; disappearance of 
293, 294; vote of, in 1887 
296; delegates from, 300 

Greenbacks, demand for substitu 
tion of, for national bank notes 
112, 146, 205; circulation of, 
115, 116, 121; basis of, 126, 
127, 230, 231; discrimination 
against, 140, 141, 222, 223 
hoarding of, 143, 144; Weav 
er's endorsement of, 166 ; bonds 
to be paid in, 186; retirement 
of, prohibited, 252; recommen- 
dation of, 308 

Greene County (Illinois), petition 
from soldiers in, 132 

Gresham, Walter Q., 311, 312; 
suggestion of, for President, 
313; tribute to, 819 

Grimes, James W., election of, 17; 
effect of election of, 20 ; speech 
by, 24, 25 

Guatemala, minister to, 68 

Gue, Benjamin F., nomination of, 
as Lieutenant Governor, 67 

Guthrie (Oklahoma), land office 
at, 276; settlement of, 277 

Hafiz, quotation from. 473 
Haldeman, Francis W., 461 
Halleck, H. W.. tribute to Second 
Iowa by, 32; delay of, 37; 
army commanded by, 43 ; pro- 
motion of, 43 
Halstead, Murat, suggestion of. 

that Weaver withdraw, 329, 

Hamilton, Mr., 73 

Hamilton, D. W., 436 

Hancock, W. S., defeat of, 458 

Hannibal (Missouri), troops in 
charge of railroads at, 27, 28 

Harding, William L., toast by, 

Harlan, Edgar R., 411 

Harlan, James, 73 ; support of, 
by Weaver, 88 

Harmon, Judson, 403 

Harper, Jesse, assistance of, in 
Iowa, 156 

Harper's Weekly, caricature of 
Weaver in, 134 

Harrison, Benjamin, election of, 
259; reference to, 290, 293 

Hayes, Mr., Gresham supported 
by, 313 

Hayes, Rutherford B., 14; dis- 
satisfaction with administration 
of, 101, 156; refunding bill ve- 
toed by, 179, 196; vote of 
Weaver for, 187; proclamation 
of, relative to Oklahoma settle 
ments, 278 

Hearst, William R., Iowa delega- 
tion instructed to vote for, 397 

Hedrick, Mr., 73 

Helena (Montana), Weaver at, 

Hendershott, H. B., oath admin- 
istered by, 16 

Henderson, David B., 81 

Hendricks, Thomas A., 187, 188 

Henry County Free Press, defense 
of Weaver by, 87, 88 

Hepburn, W. P., refusal of Weav- 
er to debate with, 213, 214; 
reference to, 298 

Hewitt, Abram S., 249 

Hill, David B., vote for, in con- 
vention, 395 

Hoggatt, L. Q., fusion with Dem- 
ocrats favored by, 296 

Homestead (Pennsylvania), strike 
at, 319 

Hotchkiss, L. D., Weaver's prin- 
ciples opposed by, 84 

House of Representatives (United 
States). Weaver's leave of ab- 
sence from, 155 ; activities of 
Weaver in, 101-154, 179-200; 
apologies to, 194, 195 

Howard, Noel B., response by, 51 

Howell, James B., attendance of, 
at Chicago convention, 23 

Hughes, Frank, letter of Weaver 
to, 172, 173 

Hull. John A. T., motion by, 76; 
Weaver opposed by, 84 



Human Life versus Gold, speech 

entitled, 133 
Humboldt Mountains, hunting in, 


Idaho, vote of, for Weaver, 335, 

Illinois, Greenback vote in, 173, 
175; mortgaged farms in, 271 

Imlay, Joseph, army service of, 2 

Imlay, Susan, marriage of, 2 

Immigration, Weaver in favor of, 

Imperialism, opposition of Weav- 
er to, 386, 391 

Income tax, levy of, proposed, 
146; debate upon, 253, 254; 
Weaver in favor of, 287, 439; 
demand for, 361 

Independents, hope of, for suc- 
cess, 101; number of, in Fif- 
tieth Congress, 258 

Indian Territory, 232; settlers 
ordered to leave, 238 

Indiana, campaign of Weaver in, 
167; Greenback vote in. 173, 
175; area of, 235; mortgaged 
farms in, 271 

Indianapolis (Indiana), meeting 
at, 307 

Indians, description of, 4, 5 ; 
suggestion as to treatment of, 
226 j policy toward, 232-240; 
reservations for, 226, 235, 236: 
allotment of lands to, 253, 287 

Industrial classes, demand of, for 
justice. 111 

Industry, The Threefold Conten- 
tion of, 312 

Ingham, Harvey, tribute to Weav- 
er by, 416, 417 

Initiative, demand for, 357; 
Weaver in favor of, 439 

Interstate commerce, regulation 
of, recommended, 163 ; petition 
concerning, 197; need of regu- 
lation of, 246, 247 

Interstate Commerce Act, passage 
of, 249, 250, 251, 252 

Iowa, disorder in, during Civil 
War, 59-65 ; Greenback vote in. 
173; area of, 234; mortgaged 
farms in, 271; failure of fu- 
sion in, 335. 336 

Iowa Farmers' Tribune, The, res- 
ignation of Weaver as editor 
of, 469 

Iowa State Press, criticism of 
Weaver by, 172 

Iowa State Register, The, com- 
ment by, on Sampson's nomina- 
tion, 7i, 72 ; letter from Weav- 
er to, 92 ; comment of. on 

Weaver's election to Congress, 
105, 106 ; editorial comment on 
Weaver by, 156; comment of, 
on Weaver's land policy, 164; 
defense of Weaver by, 173 ; 
comment by, on Weaver's ad- 
dress, 177, 178; comment by, 
on Weaver's altercation in Con- 
gress, 195, 196; Weaver sug- 
gested by, for Senator, 297, 
298; symposium published in, 
343 ; convention described by, 

Ironton (Missouri), 28 

Irrepressible Conflict, The. — The 
People vs. Privileged Classes, 

Irrigation, provision for, favored 
by Weaver, 268, 287 

luka (Alabama), fight at, 44 

Jackson, Frank D., attitude of, 
toward Kelly's army, 354 

Jackson (Missouri), 28 

Jamieson, W. D., correspondence 
of, with Weaver, 404, 405; 
meeting presided over by, 413 ; 
tribute to Weaver from, 420, 

Jefferson, Thomas, 184 

Johnson, Colonel, 46 

Johnson, Andrew, 68 

Johnston, Albert S., troops com- 
manded by, 38 

Jones, George O., presence of, 
at conference. 168; charges 
against, 168. 169, 170 

Jones, James K., 276 

Jones, John P., 168 

Kansas, Greenback vote in, 173 ; 
speaking tour of Weaver in, 
204, 205; attitude of people 
of, toward protection, 265 ; 
mortgaged farms in, 271 r emi- 
gration to Indian Territory 
from, 278; vote of. for Weav- 
er, 335, 336, 387; Weaver's 
educational campaign in, 349 

Kansas City (Missouri), Demo- 
cratic convention at, 394, 395 

Kansas-Nebraska Act, effect of, 
16, 17 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, vote of 
Iowa delegation on, 17; debate 
on, 18 

Kasson, John A., election of, to 
Congress. 206 

Kellv's armv, march of, through 
Iowa, 353. 354 

Kendall. N. E., tribute of. to 
Weaver. 421. 422. 434; refer- 
ence to, 436 



Kentucky, Greenback vote in, 
173; debate upon income tax 
paid by warden of penitentiary 
of, 253, 254; direct tax paid 
by, 284 

Kenworthy, W, S., attendance of, 
at convention, 215 

Keokuk, rendezvous of troops at, 

Keokuk County, violence in, 59 

Keosauqua, arrival of Weaver 
family at, 2 ; speech of Weaver 
at, 19, 20; mention of, 25; 
company transported to, 27 

Kern, John W., Weaver associ- 
ated with, 401 

Ketchum, Mrs. Laura, 408 

Kinne, L. G., 213 

Kiowa Indians, reservation of, 

Kirkpatrick, Sant, 436 

Kirkwood, Samuel J., campaign 
of, for Governor, 20, 21; elec- 
tion of, as Governor, 22, 75 ; 
attendance of, at Chicago con- 
vention, 23 ; company offered 
to, 26; license favored by, 82; 
Weaver defeated by, 88; vote 
for, 453 

Knights of Labor, delegates from, 
300; political activities of, 341 

Knights of the Golden Circle, out- 
rages committed by, 59 

Kyle, James H,, nomination of, 
313, 314 

Labor, demand for justice to. 111 

Labor, Department of, bill to es- 
tablish, 244; proposed changes 
in, 270, 271; establishment of, 
favored by Weaver, 288, 439 

Labor organizations, fear of, 256 

Labor representatives, number of, 
in Fiftieth Congress, 258 

Lacey, John F., Weaver defeated 
by, 290, 291, 292, 293, 385; 
tribute of, to Weaver, 412, 432 

La Follette, Robert M., 249, 397, 

La Grange (Tennessee), Second 
Iowa at, 49 

Land, opposition of Weaver to 
proposed donation of, 254, 255 ; 
debate over disposition of, 266, 
267, 268 

Land Claims, Committee on Pri- 
vate, Weaver on, 259 

Larrabee, William, election of, as 
Governor, 216 

Lauman, J. G., brigade command- 
ed by, 31 

Law, study of, 10, 14, 15 

Lawrence (Massachusetts), 201 

Lawyer, Weaver's ability as, 99, 

Lead, Kindly Light, singing of, at 
Weaver's funeral, 425 

Lease, Mrs. Mary E., nomination 
of Weaver seconded by, 313; 
campaign speeches of, 319, 320, 
321, 322, 324, 327, 328 

Legal-tender, greenbacks as, 141, 

Legal-tender notes, inquiry as to 
issue of, 252 

Lieutenant Governor, Weaver a 
candidate for, 67 

Lincoln, Abraham, nomination of, 
24 ; issue of greenbacks ap- 
proved by, 141; reference to, 

Lincoln (Nebraska), call for meet- 
ing at, 389, 390 

Liquor, opposition of Weaver to, 
52; introduction of, into In- 
dian Territory, prohibited, 277 

Liquor party, opposition of, to 
Weaver, 74 (see also Saloon) 

Liverpool, 281 

Lloyd, Henry D., article by, 462 

Lodge Bill, 302 

Logan, John A., Weaver Soldier 
Bill opposed by, 142 

Los Angeles (California), Weaver 
at, 319, 320 

Loughridge, Mr., 88 

Louis XVI, 350 

Louisiana, fusion in, 335 

Louisville (Kentucky), Second 
Iowa mustered out at, 51 

Love, James M., oath adminis- 
tered by, 16 

Lucas, John A., store of, 5 

Lum, Dyer D., charges made by, 
168, 169, 170 

Lumber, free trade in, favored by 
Weaver, 263, 264, 265; bill to 
repeal duty on, 272 

Lynch's Creek (South Carolina), 
battle at, 50 

Lynn (Massachusetts), 201 

McAchran, S. G., law office of, 10 
McClernand, John A., defeat of 

troops under, 31 
McCrary, George W., debate of 
Weaver with, 18 ; campaign of, 
19; vote for, 67; mention of, 
70, 88 
McDowell College, robbery of, 29 
McFarland, W. M., election dis- 
cussed by, 343 
McKinley, William, 249, 394; de- 
bate by, 272; Weaver opposed 
by, 360; Weaver's opinion of, 
384; criticism of, 386 



McKinley Bill, passage of, 302 
McKinney, Mr., attack on, 24 
McLane, R. M., penalty proposed 

by, 193, 195 
McMahon, John A., speech of, 115 
Macon (Georgia), rowdyism at, 

Mahaska County, illegal voting in, 

218, 219 
Mahin, John, 452 
Mail, carrying of, by Weaver, 8-10 
Maine, election of Greenbackers 
in, 106; campaign of Weaver 
in, 157, 167; fusion in, 172, 
210; area of, 234; speeches of 
Weaver in, 347 
Manning, Edward, Weaver em- 
ployed by, 13, 14; reference to, 
Mansur, C. H., defense of "boom- 
ers" by, 279 
Marblehead (Massachusetts), 201 
Marshalltown, Union Labor con- 
vention at, 295, 296; third 
party convention at, 297; Dem- 
ocratic convention at, 367 
Martin, John, election of, as Sen- 
ator, 346 
Massachusetts, Weaver's speaking 
tour in, 201-204, 347; area of, 
Memorial Historical and Art 
Building, portrait gallery in, 
Memphis (Tennessee), 37; Con- 
federate forces at, 44 
Methodist Church, Weaver a mem- 
ber of, 52 ; opposition to candi- 
dates belonging to, 73, 452; fu- 
neral of Weaver in, 424 
Mexican War, close of, 447 
Michigan, Greenback vote in, 173, 


Middle-of-the-Road Populists, 367, 

388, 389, 390, 391; convention 

of, 391, 392; origin of name 

of, 468. 469 

Midland Monthly, The, article by 

Weaver published in, 354, 355 

Militant Clergymen, paper bv, 386 

Military site, land for, 254^ 255, 

256, 257 
Miller, Miltiades, 25 
Miller, Robert, school taught by, 5 
Mills, Noah W. wounding of, 46, 

48; death of, 48 
Mills, Roger Q., activities of, on 
funding bill, 181, 182; refer- 
ence to, 249, 272, 274 
Mills Bill, history of, 259, 260, 
261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 291, 
297, 462 
Milton, raiders at, 62 

Mineral lands, disposition of, 267 

Minge, Captain, 60 

Minnesota, fusion in, 335; vote 

for Weaver in, 338 
Mississippi, Weaver's campaign in, 

Missouri, Greenback vote in, 173; 
mortgaged farms in, 271; emi- 
gration to Indian Territory 
from, 278; direct tax paid by, 
284; Weaver's campaign in, 
322, 349; vote for Weaver in, 
Missouri Compromise, effect of re- 
peal of, 16 
Missouri River, arrival of Phelps 

party at, 11 
Mitchel, O. M., report of capture 

of Corinth by, 42 
Mitchell, A. F., organization un- 
der supervision of, 290, 291 
Money, kinds of, 110-129, 133, 
205 ; amount of, in circulation, 
Monopolies, 163, 164, 223, 226 

(see also Trusts) 
Monroe County, 68 
Montana, Weaver's campaign in, 

Moon, facetious bill for railway 

to, 116, 117 
Moore, Mr., 91 

Moore, M. H., choice of, as dele- 
gate to national convention, 159 
Moore, Samuel A., wounds of. 42, 
52 ; militia under command of, 
Moore, W. S., speech by, 409 
Moore's Opera House, convention 

in, 75 
Morrison, William R., 249 
Mortgages, number of, on farms, 

Morton, Oliver P., 448 
Municipal suffrage, recommenda- 
tion of. for women, 308 
Murch, Thomas H., 106 ; assist- 
ance of, in Iowa, 156; election 
of, as chairman of conference, 
158 ; presence of, at conference^ 
168; dissatisfaction of, with 
Weaver's attitude toward Dem- 
ocrats, 172 

Nast, Thomas, cartoon by, 134, 
135, 136 

National bank notes, greenbacks 
to be substituted for, 112, 146, 
205; resolution to retire, 229 

National banks, opposition of 
Weaver to, 121, 222, 272, 273, 
463 ; reserves of, 140 ; opposi- 



tion to control of currency by, 
162, 163 (see also Banks) 

National debt, bill for refunding 
of, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 
184, 185, 186 (see also Debt) 

National Greenback convention, 
meeting of, 155, 159, 160; 
nomination of Weaver by, 160, 
161, 162 

National Greenback Labor confer- 
ence, meeting of, 157, 158 

National Greenback Labor voters, 
address to, 177, 178 

National party, 151; reception to 
"Weaver by, 201, 202 

Nationalists, number of, in Con- 
gress, 218 

Nebraska, mortgaged farms in, 
271; vote for Weaver in, 337 

Nelson, William, troops command- 
ed by, 40 

Nevada, Weaver's campaign in, 
319; vote of, for Weaver, 335, 

New England, Weaver in, 342 

New Hampshire, area of, 234; 
speeches of Weaver in, 347 

New Jersey, area of, 234; speech- 
es of Weaver in, 347 

New Purchase, opening of, to set- 
tlements, 3 

New York, Greenback vote in, 
173; railway proposed from, to 
Council Bluffs, 196, 197; mort- 
gaged farms in, 271; speeches 
of Weaver in, 347, 349 

New York Cattle Company, lands 
leased by, 236 

New York Tribune, influence of, 
18; charges against Weaver in, 

Newburyport (Massachusetts), 201 

Newton, campaign incident at, 
291, 292 

Nicaragua Canal, support of, by 
Weaver, 281, 282, 288 

No Man's Land, extension of 
United States laws to, 269 

Nobility, titles of, prohibited, 148 

North Carolina, direct tax paid 
by, 284; Weaver's campaign in, 
326; vote for Weaver in, 336, 
338; Weaver's educational cam- 
paign in, 349 

North Dakota, vote of, for Weav- 
er, 335 

Northern Alliance, 305 

Norton, S. F., 161 

Nourse, C. C, speech by, 81 

Nugent, J. F., 411; portrait of 
Weaver presented by, 412; trib- 
ute to Weaver by, 415, 427, 
428, 429 

Oakland (California), Weaver at, 

Office-holders, political contribu- 
tions by, 463 

Ogeeehee River, crossing of, 50 

Ohio, Greenback vote in, 175 

Oklahoma, demand for opening of, 
to settlement, 232; debate over 
organization of, 232-240; bills 
for organization of, 254, 269, 
270, 273. 274, 275; opening of, 
to settlement, 275, 276, 277, 
278, 279, 280, 287, 401; local 
government in, 279, 280; or- 
ganization of Territory of, 280, 

Oklahoma Bill, passage of, in 
House, 273, 274, 275 

"Oklahoma boomers", defense of, 
by Weaver, 241, 242; activities 
of, 278, 279; reference to, 461 

Oleomargarine, tax on, 248 

Omaha (Nebraska), Populist con- 
vention at, 313, 314, 315 

Omaha World-Herald, letter of 
Weaver to, 396 

Oostanaula River, crossing of, 49 

Oregon, campaign of Weaver in, 
312, 320, 374; vote of, for 
Weaver, 335, 338 

Oskaloosa, debate between Cutts 
and Weaver at, 95 ; bill for 
building at, 271 

Ottumwa, convention at, 71 ; bill 
for building at, 271; Democrat- 
ic State convention at, 381 

Oxen, use of, on trip to Califor- 
nia, 11 

Page, employment of additional, 
proposed, 140 

Palmer, F. W., attendance of, at 
Chicago convention, 23 

Panama Canal, 282 

Panama Railroad, operation of, 13 

Paper money, exchange of, for sil- 
ver, 115, 116; bill to provide 
for, 128 

Park, Milton, phrase used by, 468 

Parker. Alton B., nomination of, 
for President, 398, 399; follow- 
ers of, disliked by Weaver, 399 

Parsons, J. M., election of, as del- 
egate, 398 

Patent laws, bill to amend. 272 

Patents, Committee on. Weaver 
chairman of, 258 

Patterson. Thomas M., 389; let- 
ter to Weaver from, 393, 394 

Pav, delav of soldiers', 153 

Payne, d! H.. 425 

Payne, David L., arrest of, 278 

Pea Ridge (Arkansas), 61 



Peflfer, William, 307, 310 
Pennoyer, Sylvester, change of, to 

Populist party, 312 
Pennsylvania, Greenback vote in, 

173; mortgaged farms in, 271; 

interest of Weaver in coal fields 

of, 462 
Pensacola (Florida), Weaver and 

Field at, 323 
Pension Bureau, appropriations 

for, 114 
Pensions, bills for, 127, 128, 139, 

196, 248, 271, 272; attacks on, 

351, 352 
People's Independent party, 389 
People's party, letter of Weaver 

to, 324; failure of, to secure 

order, 325; labor in sympathy 

with, 361 
People's party of the State of 

Iowa, organization of, 306 
People's party of the United 

States of America, organization 

of, 306, 307 
Perkins, B. W., dispute of, with 

Weaver, 461 
Petersburg (Virginia), Second 

Iowa at, 51 
Petitions, refusal of Congress to 

receive, 152; presentation of, 

Phelps, C. W., trip of, to Cali- 
fornia, 10, 11, 12; return of, 

to Iowa, 13 
Philippine Islands, conquest of, 

opposed by Weaver, 386, 387, 

Phillips, Wendell, meeting of 

Weaver and, 203 
Pierce, Franklin, vote of Iowa for, 

Pierson, Captain, boat commanded 

by, 13 
Pillow, Gideon J,, 30; attack by, 

Pilot Knob (Missouri), 28 
Pinkerton agency, 319 
Pioneer Lawmakers' Association, 

reunion of, 414, 415 
Pittsburg, 25 
Pittsburg Landing (Tennessee), 

attack on Union troops at, 38, 

39; Union army at, 43, 44 
Plaisted, H. M., letter of Weaver 

to, 209, 210 
Polk, L. L., 310, 311, 312 
Polk County Democracy, gift of, 

to Weaver, 408 
Poor, demand for relief of, 113 
Populist party, fusion of, with 

Democrats, 102. 344. 345, 346, 

359, 360, 366, 370, 381; organ- 
ization of, 304, 307, 310; 

Weaver's change to, 309 ; nomi- 
nation of Weaver by, 310-343; 
inability of, to secure order, 
324, 325; strength of, in the 
South, 324, 325, 326; popular 
vote of, in 1892, 337, 338; 
prophecy of success of, 342, 
343, 350, 351; State conven- 
tion of, 351, 352, 356, 357, 
358, 374; Weaver's estimate of, 
363, 364, 365; vote for, in 
1894, 365; nomination of Brv- 
an by, 375, 376, 377; split in, 
388, 389, 390, 391 

Portland (Oregon), Weaver at, 

Portrait, presentation of, 411, 412, 

Postal savings banks, Weaver in 
favor of, 439 

Postal telegraphs, bill to establish, 
248, 272, 288 

Pottawattamie Indians, camp of, 4 

Potter, Mr., opposition of, to pro- 
hibition plank, 81 

Powderly, Terence V., Gresham 
supported by, 313 

Power, Mr., Weaver endorsed by, 

Poweshiek County, murders in, 59 

Preachers, activities of, on fron- 
tier, 7, 8 

Preemption laws, repeal of, 240, 
241, 242 

President, first campaign of Weav- 
er for, 155-178; second cam- 
paign of Weaver for, 310-343; 
resolution for direct election of, 
351; demand for single term 
for, 357 

Price, Hiram, attendance of, at 
Chicago convention, 23 ; wel- 
come to Second Iowa by, 51; 
Weaver opposed by, 123, 124; 
Weaver's criticism of, 125, 126 ; 
Weaver's reply to, 143 

Price, Sterling, 286 

Primogeniture, right of, denied, 

Progressive movement, 402 

Prohibition, attitude of Repub- 
lican convention toward, in 
1875, 80, 81, 82; opposition to 
Weaver due to his views on, 
87; attitude of Repiiblican par- 
ty toward, 92, 352; effect of, 
on Republican party, 208. 300, 
351; debate over, 308; Weaver 
an advocate of, 439 

Property, relation of money to 
price of, 119, 120 

Pruitt, Edward, funeral sermon 
by, 425, 426 



Public buildings, bills for, 271 

Public Land Strip, 232, 234; ex- 
tension of United States laws to, 

Public lands, petitions concerning, 
197; disposition of, 225, 226, 
232-243 ; debate over disposi- 
tion of, 266, 267, 269; bills rel- 
ative to, 271, 272; policy of 
Weaver relative to, 287 

Pulaski, defense measures at, 62 ; 
militia from, 62 ; meeting at, 84 

Pulaski (Tennessee), Second Iowa 
at, 49; Weaver in command at, 
53-58 ; opposition to Weaver at, 

Purdam, James, farm of, 2 

Quick, Herbert, poem by, 415, 
416, 417 

Railroads, seizing of, in northern 
Missouri, 27, 28; attitude of 
Weaver toward, 166; strikes on, 
244, 245, 353; indebtedness of, 
248 ; opposition of, to Nicaragua 
Canal, 281, 282; land grants to, 
287; proposed government con- 
trol of, 308, 361; accidents on, 
Railway, bill authorizing construc- 
tion of, from New York to Coun- 
cil Bluffs, 196, 197 
Raleigh (North Carolina), Second 

Iowa at, 51; Weaver at, 326 
Ramseyer, C. W., speech by, 436 
Rand (South Africa), mines at, 

Randall, Samuel J., election of, as 
Speaker, 108 ; discussion by, 
183, 184, 185, 186; reference 
to, 249, 274, 401 
Reading (Massachusetts), 201 
Reagan bill, 249, 250, 251, 252 
Recognition, Weaver's struggle for, 

133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 139 
Reed, Thomas B., 124, 218, 249; 
defeat of, for Speaker, 258; de- 
bate bv, 272; Weaver opposed 
by, 360 
Referendum, demand for, 357; 

Weaver in favor of, 439 
Reform conference, 307, 308 
Refugees, supplies for, 53, 54, 56 
Register and Leader, The, tribute 

to Weaver in, 430, 431, 432 
Reno (Nevada), Weaver at, 319 
Representatives^, re-apportionment 

of, 199 
Republican party, beginning of, in 
Iowa, 20; Weaver's activities as 
a member of, 66-100; attitude 
of, toward prohibition, 80, 81, 

82, 92; withdrawal of Weaver 
from, 93, 94, 294, 295; charges 
against, 101, 167, 168; num- 
ber of members in Congress, 
107, 108, 218, 258; estimate 
of, 175, 176, 177, 186, 187, 
190, 191, 342; attitude of, to- 
ward Greenbackers, 199, 200; 
Weaver feared by, 207; offer of, 
to Weaver, 208, 209; debate by 
candidate of, 212; increase in 
votes for, 214; vote of, in 1892, 

Republican State convention, at- 
tendance of Weaver at, 23 

Resaca (Georgia), battle at, 50 

Resolutions, struggle over presen- 
tation of, 133-137, 139; rejec- 
tion of, 137 

Resumption Act, opposition of 
Sampson to repeal of, 89 ; crit- 
icism of, by Weaver, 89, 90 ; ef- 
fect of, on greenbacks, 115, 
116; effect of, on silver, 121 

Retrospect and Prospect, Bryan's 
address on, 413, 414 

Revenue, use of surplus, 146 

Review of Reviews, The, picture 
of Weaver in, 312; comment in, 
on Weaver's defeat, 361 

Revolution, danger of. 111 

Rhode Island, area of, 234 

Rice, A. v., troops commanded by, 

Rich, Jacob, attendance of, at Chi- 
cago convention, 23 

Richmond (Virginia), Second 
Iowa at, 51 

Rinehart, G. F., toast by, 413 

Robb, W. H., presence of, at na- 
tional Union Labor convention, 

Robinson, Mrs. Maude, 408 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 79, 397, 399; 
work of, 211 

Rosecrans, William S., Army of 
the Mississippi commanded bv, 
44 ; remarks of Weaver on bill 
to retire, 285, 286 

Ross, Betsy, relationship of Weav- 
er family to, 1 

Russell, John, 74 ; nomination of, 
for Governor, 75 

Sac and Fox Indians, treaty with, 

2 ; camp of, 4 
Sackville-West, affair of, 291, 292 
Sacramento (California), arrival 

of Weaver at, 12 ; Weaver at, 

St. Joseph (Missouri), seizing of 

railroads at, 27, 28 
St. Louis (Missouri), Second Iowa 



Infantry at, 28, 29; meeting at, 
308; Weaver at, 329, 349; 
Democratic convention at, 397, 
398, 399 

St. Mary's (Ohio), 25 

Saloon element, opposition of, to 
Weaver, 74, 75 ; denunciation 
of, 308 ; opposition of Weaver 
to, 431 (see also Liquor and 

Sampson, E. S., nomination of, 
for Congressman, 70, 71, 72 ; 
mention of, 88; defeat of, 103 

San Francisco (California), visit 
of Weaver to, 13, 320 

Savannah, defense measures at, 62 

Savannah (Georgia), entrance of 
Union army into, 50 

Savery House, banquet at, 411 

School, description of, 4, 5, 6 ; at- 
tendance of Weaver at, 5, 8, 9, 

Seattle (Washington), Weaver at, 
320, 321 

Second Iowa Infantry, Bloomfield 
company included in, 26; ren- 
dezvous of, 27; punishment of, 
29 ; part of, in capture of Fort 
Donelson, 29-37; tribute to, 32; 
flag of, 29, 33; losses of, 37; 
arrival of, at Pittsburg Land- 
ing, 38; part of, in battle of 
Shiloh, 39-42^ 52; losses of, 42; 
activities of, after battle of Cor- 
inth, 44 ; service of, in Tennes- 
see, Alabama, and Georgia, 49 ; 
march of, to the sea, 50, 51; 
mustering out of, 51; camp of, 
at Pulaski, 57 

Sectional strife, opposition of 
Weaver to, 109, 110, 111, 112 

Seminole Indians, land ceded bv, 
234, 464; sale of land by, 276, 

Senate, criticism of, 334 

Senators, direct election of, 197, 
247, 248, 272, 287, 301, 351, 
357, 361. 364, 439: nomination 
of, in primaries, 402 

Seventh Iowa Infantry, assault 
by, 31, 35; activities of. 39, 40; 
part of, in battle of Shiloh, 52 

Sewall, Arthur, nomination of, for 
Vice President. 376 

Shaw, Leslie M., tender of services 
to, by Weaver, in 1898, 385 

Sherman, John, leadership of, 176 

Sherman, William T., campaign 
of, 50; order of, 56 

Sherman Act, 349, 350, 352 

Shibley, George H., letter to Weav- 
er from. 391 

Shiloh (Mississippi), battle of, 38- 

43, 52, 61, 142; casualties at 
battle of, 356 

Sibley, Mr., 369 

Sierra Nevada Mountains, cross- 
ing of, 12 

Silver, demand for free coinage 
of, 112, 116, 117, 118, 119, 
125, 126, 223, 224, 225, 226, 
227, 229, 287, 347, 359, 364, 
365, 366, 367, 368, 370, 372, 
373, 374; demonetization of, 
118-121, 222; bill to prevent 
discrimination against, 124, 128; 
relation of, to gold, 123, 127, 
128, 166; resolution to provide 
for coinage of dollars from, 133, 
146; bonds to be paid in, 205; 
defeat of free coinage of, 302, 
303; educational campaign on 
behalf of, 347, 348, 349 

Simpson, Jerry, 307, 310 

Singleton, James W., petition pre- 
sented by, 132; motion bv. 195 

Sioux City Tribune, tribute to 
Weaver in, 432, 433 

Sioux Falls (South Dakota), Pop- 
ulist convention at, 390, 391. 

Skirmisher, The, 415, 416, 417 

Slavery, opposition of Kirkwood 
to, 22 

Slemons, William F., contest over 
election of, 140 

Sloan, Robert, estimate of Weav- 
er's ability as a law^-er by, 99, 
100; quotations from letter of, 

Smith, C. F., attack ordered by, 
31; troops led by, 32, 33, 34 

Smith, Mrs. Charles Dupree, por- 
trait of Weaver planned by, 
410, 411; volume presented to 
Weaver by. 412, 413 

Smythe, Robert, 74, 75, 76 

Social politics, attitude of polit- 
ical parties toward, 114; begin- 
ning of, 174; emphasis on, 211 

Socialist Labor party, delegates 
from, to Greenback convention, 
160; letter of Weaver to, 164 

Soldiers, petition from. 130. 131, 
132, 152. 153; demand for jus- 
tice to, 130, 131. 132, 139, 
140. 142. 143: bill to reim- 
burse, for depreciated currency, 
158, 231, 272 

"Solid South", opposition to 
breaking up of, 326 

South, debate on use of troops at 
elections in. 108, 109, 112: op- 
position to Weaver in, 324, 325, 
326; Weaver asked to denounce, 
330; strength of Populist party 



in, 336, 337; strength of Dem- 
ocratic party in, 337 

South Carolina, direct tax paid 
by, 284; Weaver's campaign in, 

South Dakota, vote for Weaver in, 

Southern Alliance, meeting of, 307 

Southern Farmers' Alliance, es- 
tablishment of, in Iowa, 305, 
306; mention of, 311 

Southwestern Railway Strike, 244, 

Sovereign, J. R., fusion opposed 
by, 296; third party led by, 
297; efforts of, to establish 
Farmers' Alliance in Iowa, 306; 
speech by, 354 

Spanish-American War, Weaver in 
favor of, 385, 386 

Sparks, William, altercation of, 
with Weaver, 189-196 

Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, refusal of, to recog- 
nize Weaver, 133, 134, 135, 
136, 137; powers of, 334; 
Weaver in favor of reduction of 
powers of, 439 

Spokane (Washington), Weaver 
at, 321 

Springer, William M., bill intro- 
duced by, 269; defense of 
"boomers" by, 279 

Springfield (Massachusetts), 201 

Standard Oil Company, lands 
leased by, 236 

State Historical Society of Iowa, 
flag presented to, 33 

State Senator, nomination of 
Weaver for, 82 

"Stevens, John L." (boat), pas- 
sage on, 13 

Stevenson, Adlai E., 326; nomina- 
tion of, for Vice President, by 
Populists, 392 ; nomination of, 
by Democrats, for Vice Presi- 
dent, 395 

Stewart, William M., address by, 

Stiles, Edward, speech by, 24, 25 

Stone, William M., majority of, 66 

Storer, Bellamy, instruction of 
Weaver by, 14 

Strikes, Weaver's views on, 244, 
245, 246, 247 

Stuart, A. A., Weaver described 
by, 52 

Sugar Creek Township (Powe- 
shiek County), murders in, 59 

Sullenberger, Charles, 425 

Sullivan, Jerry, 411, 413 

Supreme Court, demand for elec- 
tion of judges of, 357 

Surplus, demand for disbursement 
of, 227, 228, 229 

Sutter's Mill (California), discov- 
ery of gold at, 10 

Tacoma (Washington), Weaver at, 

Taft, William H., defeat of, proph- 
esied, 403 

Tariff, debate on, 259, 260, 261, 
262, 263, 264, 265 ; reduction 
of, advocated by Weaver, 287, 

Taubeneck, H. E., 329 

Tax, direct, proposal to refund, 
283, 284, 285 

Teller, H. M., volume dedicated 
to, 470 

Terre Haute (Indiana), speech of 
Weaver at, 167 

Texas, Greenback vote in, 173 ; 
land granted by, 256; emigra- 
tion to Indian Territory from, 
278; direct tax paid by, 284; 
vote for Weaver in, 336, 337 

Thorington, James, attendance of, 
at Chicago convention, 23 

Thurman, Allen G., 188 

Tillman, Benjamin R., 137 

Tourgee, Albion W., letter to 
Weaver from, 330, 331 

Towne, Charles A., nomination of, 
for Vice President, by Popu- 
lists, 392, 393, 394 

Trades unions, political action be- 
gun by, 341 

Transportation, Weaver in favor 
of regulation of, 166 ; demand 
for popular control of, 364 

Treasury, Secretary of, proposal 
of, to issue bonds, 114, 115; 
bills prescribing duties of, 128; 
report requested from, 140 ; pro- 
posal to grant authority to, in 
the matter of issuing bonds, 
183 ; right of, to alter notes, 
229, 230 

Treasury Department, surplus in, 

Treasury notes, need of, as cur- 
rency, 224, 225 

Trimble, H. H., comment of, on 
Weaver's change in parties, 
104, 105; reference to, 187 

Troy, militia from, 62 

Trumbull, General, nomination of 
Kirkwood questioned by, 75 

Trusts, demand for abolition of, 
351, 364: list of, 462 

Tuttle, J. M., charge led by, 31, 
34; injury to, 32; troops com- 
manded by, 34; report of, 37; 
brigade commanded by, 39 ; 



commission of, as brigadier- 
general, 44 
Twelfth Iowa Infantry, 39, 40, 42 
Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry, as- 
sault by, 31, 35 
Twombly, Voltaire, flag carried by, 

Uncle Tom's Cabin, effect of, 18 

Union Labor Industrial Party of 
Iowa, 300, 301 

Union Labor party, organization 
of, 294, 295, 296; vote for, in 
1888, 297; convention of, 299, 
300; delegates from, 300 

Union men, murder of, 59 

United States, per capita money 
of, 143, 154 

United States District Court, ad- 
mission of Weaver to practice 
in, 16 

United States notes, change in de- 
nominations of, prohibited, 252, 

United States Treasury notes, 
right of Secretary to alter, 229, 

Van Buren County, white settlers 
prohibited west of, 2, 3 ; cam- 
paign in, 19; raid in, 62, 63; 
reference to, 68 

Van Dorn, Earl, 286 

Van Wagenen, A., correspondence 
of, with Weaver, 403, 404 

Veto, Weaver in favor of partial, 

Vice President, resolution for di- 
rect election of, 351; nomina- 
tions for, 376, 392, 395 

Vicksburg (Mississippi), 37, 61; 
Confederates at, 44; campaign 
against, 49 

Vincennes (Indiana), speech of 
Weaver at, 318, 319 

Vinson, Clara, marriage of Weav- 
er and, 25 

Virginia, direct tax paid by, 284 

Voorhees, Daniel W., 187, 188 

Wade, M. J., toast by, 413 

Wadsworth, S. B., election of, as 
delegate, 398 

Wallace, Henry, tribute of, to 
Weaver, 422 

Wallace, W. H. L., division com- 
manded by, 39 ; death of, 40 

Wapello County. 68 

Warden, Mr., 73 

Warner, A. J., free silver favored 
by, 366 

Warner Silver Bill, vote on, 125 

Warren, Fitz Henry, attendance 

of, at Chicago convention, 23 ; 
defeat of, 68 

Washington, George, 1 

Washington (D. C), review at, 
51; conference at, 158, 159; 
silver meeting at, 348 

Washington, Weaver's campaign 
in, 320, 321 

Water courses, reservation of land 
along, favored by Weaver, 267, 

Watson, Thomas E., nomination 
of, for Vice President, 376; 
vote of Populists for, 468 

Wealth, struggle over, 332 

Weaver, Abram, sketch of life of, 
2 ; settlement of, on New Pur- 
chase, 3, 4 ; election of, as 
clerk of district court, 8 

Weaver, Abram C, 408, 425 

Weaver, Henry, sketch of life of, 

1, 2 

Weaver, James Baird, ancestors 
of, 1, 2 ; birth of, 2 ; removal 
of, to Iowa, 2 ; early home of, 

2, 3, 4; early life of, 3-10, 447; 
study of law by, 10, 14, 15 ; 
trip of, to California, 10, 11; 
return of, to Iowa, 13 ; position 
of, in store, 13, 14 ; law prac- 
tice of, 16 ; interest of, in sla- 
very question, 18; attendance 
of, at Chicago convention, 23 ; 
part of, in organization of Re- 
publican party, 23; marriage 
of, 25 ; choice of, as first lieu- 
tenant, 26; part of, in capture 
of Fort Donelson, 33-37; battle 
of Shiloh described by, 40-42; 
promotion of, to major, 45, 46, 
47, 48 ; choice of, as colonel^ 
47; description of battle of Cor- 
inth by, 48, 49; part of, in 
campaign against Atlanta, 49, 
50; end of military service of, 
50, 51; made brevet brigadier 
general, 51; estimate of mili- 
tary service of, 52 ; post at 
Pulaski commanded by, 53-58 ; 
choice of, as commander of 
home guard, 60 ; measures of 
defense taken by, 61, 62. 63, 
64; activities of, in Republican 
party. 66-100; candidacy of, 
for Lieutenant Governor, 67; 
appointment of, as assessor of 
internal revenue, 68 ; election 
of, as district attorney, 68 ; 
estimate of, as public speaker, 
69, 70; defeat of, for Congres- 
sional nomination, 70, 71, 72; 
candidacy of, for Governor, 74 . 
75, 76 ; support of prohibition 



by, 80, 81, 82, 83 ; nomination 
of, for State Senator, 82, 83; 
defeat of, for State Senator, 85, 
86 ; offer of nomination by 
Greenback party refused by, 91; 
withdrawal of, from Republican 
party, 93, 94; support of 
Greenback party by, 95 ; de- 
bate of, with Cutts, 95, 96, 97, 
98 ; ability of, as lawj'er, 99, 
100; election of, to Congress, 
101-103, 258; activities of, in 
Congress, 107-154, 179-200, 
258-289; speech of, on army 
appropriation bill, 108, 109, 
110, 111, 112, 113, 114; opin- 
ions of, on finance, 110-129; 
estimate of speech of, 122, 123; 
struggle by, for recognition in 
Congress, 133, 134, 135, 136, 
137, 139; plan of, for payment 
of national debt, 146 ; third 
party led by, 151, 152; first 
campaign of, for presidency, 
155-178; Butler supported by, 
158 ; choice of, as delegate to 
national convention, 159 ; vote 
for, in convention, 161; mes- 
sage of, accepting presidential 
nomination, 162 ; presence of, 
at conference, 168 ; replv of, to 
Lum's charges. 169, 170; re- 
pudiation of letter to Gillette bv, 
171; vote for, in 1880. 173; 
estimate of election of 1880 bv, 
175, 176, 177. 178; altercation 
of, with William Sparks, 189- 
196; attitude of, toward re- 
funding national debt, 179, 
180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 
196 : educational campaign of, 
201-211; campaign of, for 
Governor, 212-214; political ac- 
tivities of, 215-217; Congres- 
sional campaign of. in 1882, 
205, 206. 207, 208. 209; re- 
election of, to Congress. 215; 
attendance of, at convention, 
215; second term of, in Con- 
gress, 218-257; contest over 
election of, 218-221; soldiers' 
bill introduced by, 231; atti- 
tude of, towards interstate com- 
merce, 249, 250. 251, 252; 
support of Mills Bill bv, 259, 
260, 261. 262, 263, 264, 265; 
ideas of. as to public lands. 
266, 267, 268; organization of 
Oklahoma advocated by. 269, 
270; speech bv, against nation- 
al banks. 272. 273: filibuster 
of. for Oklahoma Bill, 273. 
274, 275; defense of "boomers" 

by, 279, 280; opposition of, to 
refunding of direct tax, 283, 
284, 285; description of, 288, 
289; change of, from Green- 
backer to Populist, 290-309; 
defeat of, for Congress, in 1888, 
290; debate over endorsement 
of, 297; part of, in organiza- 
tion of Peoples' party, 305, 306, 
307; efforts of, to establish 
Farmers' Alliance in Iowa, 
306; part of, in formation of 
Populist party, 307, 308, 309; 
second campaign of, for presi- 
dency, 310-343; address of, to 
convention in 1890, 314, 315; 
charges against, at Pulaski, 
326-329; vote for, in 1892, 
335; address by, 338-341, 413, 
414; election discussed by, 342, 
343 : change of, from Populist 
to Democrat, 344-382; Kelly's 
army assisted by, 353, 354, 
355, 356; campaign of, for 
Congress, in 1894, 359, 360, 
361, 362, 363; part of, in cam- 
paign of 1896, 375-382; Bryan 
nominated by, 377, 378, 379, 
380, 381; nomination of, as 
presidential elector, 381; later 
years of, 383-406; candidacy of, 
for Congress, in 1898, 385; of- 
fer of services by, in Spanish- 
American War, 385, 386; par- 
ticipation by, in Democratic 
convention in 1904. 397, 398, 
399; death of. 406. 424; rec- 
ognition of, 407-443; wedding 
anniversary of, 407, 408. 409; 
presentation of portrait of. 409, 
410, 411, 412, 413; funeral of, 
424-429: campaigns of, 441; 
last public address of. 441. 442 ; 
vote for, in 1875, 453 ; disnute 
of, with B. W. Perkins, 461; 
volume dedicated to, 470; paner 
edited bv. 469 

Weaver, Mrs. James B., letter to, 
describing capture of Fort Don- 
elson. 33-36; part of, in cam- 
paign, 320. 324. 327. 331; 
wedding anniversarv of. 407, 
408. 409: tribute to, 409 

Weaver, James Bellamy, naming 
of, 14; reference to. 408, 436 

Weaver Park, establishment of, 
at Bloomfield. 435, 436 437, 
438, 439. 440 

Weaver Soldier Bill, introduction 
of, 130: petitions concerning, 
130. 131, 132, 197: speech con- 
cerning, 133; reference to, 139, 
140, 142 ; endorsement of, by 



Greenbackers, 158; re-introduc- 
tion of, 231 

Welch, Porte C, Congressional 
nomination offered to Weaver 
by, 91 

Weller, L, H., motion of, 159; 
election of, to Congress, 206; 
attendance of, at convention, 
215; fusion opposed by, 296, 
300; third party led by, 297; 
objections of, to Weaver and 
Polk, 311, 312; reference to, 

West, A, M., letter to Weaver 
from, 336, 337 

West, dissatisfaction of, with old 
parties, 113 ; support of Weav- 
er in, 336 

West Virginia, campaign of Weav- 
er in, 167 

Westfall, A. J., campaign of, for 
Congress, 305 ; appointment of, 
en committee, 307 

Wheat, M. L., appointment of, on 
committee, 307; nomination of 
Weaver by, 313 

White, Fred E., 410, 436 

Wichita Indians, reservation of, 

Wilderness, battle of, 142 

Willard, Frances E., conference 
presided over by, 307 

Wilson, James F., speech by, 24, 
25 ; election of, 68 ; reference 
to, 70, 88; expiration of term 
of, 297, 299 

Wilson, Woodrow, work of, 211; 
policies of, 334, 403, 404; nom- 
ination of, 406 

Witmer, W. W., election discussed 
by, 343 

Wolves, fear of, 6 

Woman suffrage, attitude of 
Greenback party toward, 160 ; 
Weaver an advocate of, 439 

Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union, presence of representa- 
tives of, at funeral of Weaver, 

Women, municipal suffrage for, 
recommended, 308 

Wonn, H. A., votes defended by, 
84; attitude of, towards rail- 
roads, 85 ; vote for. 453 

Wood, Fernando, activities of, on 
funding bill, 180. 181, 182 

Wright, Carroll, 411; address of 
Weaver at memorial service for, 
441, 442 

Wright, Hendrick B., vote fcr, as 
Speaker, 108 ; vote for, in con- 
vention, 161 

Wyoming, Weaver's campaign in, 
321, 322; fusion in, 335 

Wayne County, 168 

Yeomen, presence of, at funeral of 

Weaver, 424 
Young, Lafayette, toast by, 413 • 

reference to, 414; tribute of, to 

Weaver, 422, 423 


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